On 31 May in 1999, Bangladesh pulled off an incredible victory over tournament favourites Pakistan in the ICC Cricket World Cup. Though the result did not halt Pakistan's way to the semifinals, it meant a lot to the 130 million fans back in Bangladesh. It is still regarded as one of the greatest upsets in World Cup history and it helped Bangladesh big time to acquire the Test status.
But what if Bangladesh failed to beat Pakistan in that match and finished the World Cup with just one win?
Bangladesh aren't granted Test status the next year
The result of the match marked the rise of the Tigers and the cricket world took notice of the Asian Team. Adding to that, it created a stir back in Bangladesh and the jubilation knew no bounds. The spectacular result of the match and the huge fan following back home prompted ICC to grant Bangladesh Test Status. If Bangladesh did not win the match, Bangladesh would've been considered to be a mere minnow cricketing nation and ICC wouldn't have looked beyond nine Test-playing nations. Even the fervent support from Jagmohan Dalmiya wouldn't have mattered.
Football remains the most popular sport in Bangladesh
It was such a victory that moved the focus of mass people from football to cricket. Football used to be the premier sport in Bangladesh at that time. But the sudden exposure of cricket didn't work in favour of football. People started to turn away from football as the cricket team had defeated a giant at the biggest stage. If Bangladesh lost to Pakistan, people would not be as passionate towards cricket. People would've possessed the same emotion, passion and enthusiasm for football as before and football matches would've had jam-packed stadiums. Football wouldn't have hit the rock bottom, rather it still might have been the most popular sport in Bangladesh.