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The uprising youngstars of Bangladesh Cricket

The uprising youngstars of Bangladesh Cricket

Pranta Deb Emon
Published Date: 19 Dec 2015 | Update : 19 Dec 2015
If it was not for the BPL, many would have remained unknown that Mosaddek Hossain also can play big, innovative shots. He scored bundle of runs in domestic cricket, showed his brilliant performance for the Bangladesh ‘A’ team and yet not many people were ready to rate him highly.   His glorious achievement in first-class cricket, where he scored three double centuries in 2015 – a record that no other Bangladeshi batsman can boast of in a calendar year – earned him little plaudits because the wickets were flat, sometimes close to that of a road and the quality of the opposition has also not been great.   The National selectors still had to pay some attention to him, simply because of his numbers. Four first-class centuries in-a-row can hardly be ignored in a country like Bangladesh, a record achieved by just one other batsman, Mahmudullah in the 2008-09 seasons.   Hence, he was given a chance to prove his worth in the recent ‘A’ team’s tour to Zimbabwe. Mosaddek did reasonably well scoring two fifties in Zimbabwe, but considering the strength of the opposition, his performances were largely ignored.   To earn the spotlight, Mosaddek had to do something special in the BPL, where there is a great fan following. In plain view, Mosaddek did not do anything in the tournament that would suggest him to be a great prospect.   A total of 116 runs in seven matches at 23.20 with 94.30 strike rate cannot be considered anything extraordinary. But he did not disappoint completely either. Three sequent fours in one over of Mohammad Shahid at a time when Dhaka Dynamites needed someone to accelerate against Sylhet Superstars and a six with a reverse sweep off one of the tournament’s best blowers Al-Amin Hossian helped many people change their perception about him.   They did at least underline the potential of the 20-year old right hander, highlighting that he has the X-factor in him, so crucial for every top batsman.   Mosaddek, however, is not the kind of batsman who is satisfied with so little an achievement in the BPL. “I would not say it was a very good tournament for me,” he said. “But I gathered lot of experience playing alongside some top cricketers, especially with (Kumar) Sangakkara. BPL was my first Twenty20 tournament, so I was really looking forward to it. It’s totally different from the National league where you get time to settle.”   Mosaddek suggested that the reverse sweep off Al Amin is one of the few shots that he is practicing hard to make his batting suitable for limited overs versions. It is necessary for him to do that, so that he does not suffer the fate of Moiminul Haque, the best Test batsman for Bangladesh, who has faded away from the limited over side. “This is (six with reverse sweep) one of my favorites. I have been practicing few shots like this. If I get a chance I will try to play these shots in match conditions.”   Compared to Mosaddek, Yasir Ali of Chittagong Vikings did not have a stellar domestic season. A member of the Bangladesh Under-19 team during the 2014 Junior World Cup, Yasir was nowhere in the scene when some of his team-mates like Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed were already a household name in Bangladesh cricket. Yasir’s joining the Vikings also had a lot to do with regional sentiment as he is one of the very few upcoming players from Chittagong, the city that once provided 7-8 cricketers regularly to the National team.   Yasir said he did not expect to be in the team in the first place. And then to get a chance in the starting lineup was something beyond his imagination.   Yasir made his first chance count, hitting 63 off 54 balls with four sixes, which earned him a regular spot in the team. That innings was a great help for Yasir, who badly needed some attention from Bangladesh Cricket Board selectors. “After the 2014 World Cup, I did not get a chance in any BCB team,” said Yasir. “I was getting frustrated. Then the BPL gave me new hope. I have got my confidence back now.”   While it seems Yasir still has a long way to go, things look very different for Abu Hider, the 19-year old left-arm pacer of champions, Comilla Victorians, who finished the tournament with a high of 21 wickets. It took more than three years for Hider to return to the spotlight after his nine-wicket haul in a 50-over match against Qatar in a Junior Asia Cup match in 2012.   Soumya Sarkar struck a double century in the same match and gradually won a place in the National team to become a superstar. But Hider could not take the same route, mostly due to injury.   He finally got a chance to make a name for himself in the BPL, where under the stewardship of Mashrafe Mortaza, he excelled in almost every game.   Mortaza has the skill of bringing out the best from every cricketer and Hider highly benefitted from that quality of his skipper.   “I have seen him from very near. He is very promising,” Mortaza said of Hider after their crushing win in the qualifier against Riders. “I believe he has a good future for Bangladesh.” Hider also got the vote of confidence from Shakib Al Hasan, who was at the receiving end in that match.   “I don’t comment on players before they spend at least one to one and a half years on the field,” said Shakib. “But obviously the way he has proved himself in this tournament, he is someone we can look for the future.”   If anyone still has any doubt, ask Lendl Simmons, Riders’ West Indies opener, who was bowled with a brilliant in-swinging yorker, a delivery that would make every left-arm seamer proud.   It was obvious that experienced cricketers like Imrul Kayes, Alok Kapali had the final say in the BPL. But throughout their campaign, teams relied on a few greenhorns like Hider. Barisal Bulls opener Mehedi Maruf and Dhaka Dynamites’ Nurul Hasan, who showed glimpses of their talent to make the tournament successful.

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