Shoriful enjoys both sides of the coin
Pace-bowling teen prodigy Shoriful Islam is being touted as the next big thing in Bangladeshi cricket. At age 17, he already has the experience of featuring in a major trophy (ACC Under-19 Asia Cup) for the Bangladesh under-19s, where he bagged eight wickets in four matches.
The left-handed fast-bowler has also played in the country’s prestigious domestic tournaments like the National Cricket League (NCL) and the Dhaka Premier League (DPL) and was among the top 20 wicket-takers in both competitions. He was part of the Bangladesh A team, finishing as the joint third-highest wicket-taker on their tour of Ireland and his inclusion in the second string national team is a clear indication that the national team management is keeping an eye on his development.
In an age when most lads are looking for a breakthrough at different levels of the game, Shoriful has deservingly established his own identity. Coming from a place where people work hard from dawn to dusk to earn their livelihood and barely understand the fancy game of cricket, Shoriful had the courage to dream of becoming a cricketer. Instead of preparing himself to spend his entire life at the crop fields, the brave young man is determined to don the Tigers’ jersey on the charming grass-carpeted field.
In an interview with Cricfrenzy, Shoriful shared his journey in this game so far. He talked about how he was inspired by another left-arm pacer who plays wearing the Red and Green outfit – Mustafizur Rahman.
Here are the excerpts from that interview…
Cricfrenzy (CF): How did you start playing cricket?
Shoriful Islam (SI): My uncle got me admitted to an academy in Dinajpur. Alamgir Kabir, a former national team player and a coach who nurtured me, took me to Rajshahi. Jahurul Islam then played me in the NCL and [Khaled Masud] Pilot sir played me in the Dhaka Premier League, where I entered the scene.
CF: Coming from a remote area where you had no electricity or bank, how did you come in touch with cricket? How did you get inspired?
SI: There is still no electricity in my area. I watched Mustafizur’s debut against Pakistan at a local market—Moumari Bazaar; it was at a 20-minute walk from my place. I watched a skinny guy bowling beautifully; it felt great. Then I thought that even I can become [a fast-bowler] if I try. I talked with my family. They weren’t consenting to it. However, they told my uncle about it and he took the responsibility and took me to the academy.
Then I practiced at the academy [in Dinajpur] for seven days. Then Alamgir Kabir came from Rajshahi. He was the pace-bowling coach of Clemon [Rajshahi Cricket Academy]. Then I played for Rajshahi in the NCL and then in the DPL.
CF: Did you use to play cricket in your area?
SI: We used play with tape-tennis balls in our area, not with cricket balls.
CF: You dreamed of becoming a cricketer where people mostly make living through agriculture. Were you involved in any such works?
SI: Not really. I occasionally used to go to the field with my father. He is a farmer.
CF: What are your goals now?
SI: I want to play for the national team on a regular basis. I want to keep myself fit and give something to my country.
CF: Are you working on your bowling action?
SI: Jackie sir and Champaka [Ramanayeke] sir are working on my action. They told me to develop a follow through bowling action. I attentive to their work.
CF: What did you tell your parents after you returned from the Ireland tour?
SI: When I returned, everyone in my house was very happy that I got to play and played well. Hopefully, I’ll go again. I told them to pray for me. They were upset when I left home again.
CF: You talked about your uncle…
SI: Yes, I had performed well in a tape-tennis tournament. Then my uncle told my family that formal education is not my cup of tea and took me to Dinajpur.
CF: Do you feel that not being good at studies has been a blessing in disguise?
SI: (Smiles) yes, I do feel that.
CF: Coming from a place, where there were no banks, to somewhere you can simply withdraw cash from an ATM – how do you look at the different sides of life? What do you feel about this transition?
SI: It is difficult in the village – sleeping at night during hot weather or even charging your phone. But it’s a beautiful environment here [in the city]. Everyone comes to watch the matches when their country is playing. They encourage us. It feels really good.
CF: There are many who don’t like to return to the village after getting a taste of luxuries in the city…
SI: I feel good when I return to my village after playing. Then coming here also feels good. I enjoy it on both occasions.
CF: When did you last visit your village?
SI: After the Under-19 Asia Cup. I just returned the day before yesterday.
CF: Was you family upset that you couldn’t win it?
SI: Yes, they were. The teachers at my college also felt sorry for us.
|| CF Correspondent || Bangladeshi spinner Mehedy Hasan said on Monday that they are learning fast to get adapted with the pink ball as they are heading to play their maidenMatch Report Live Score More
||CF Correspondent || Bangladesh became the unbeaten champion of Group B and grabbed the semifinal spot in Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Emerging Teams Cup after crushing Nepal by eight wickets inMatch Report Live Score More