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amar11432
October 21, 2010, 05:19 AM
Shakib’s success leads Bangladesh’s charge
By Dileep Premachandran
Thursday, 21 Oct, 2010

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/57b269004464a727a49ff7ded77b42cd/shakibteamRE_608x325.jpg?MOD=AJPERES
Regardless of whether Mortaza is fit to lead the side in the World Cup, it is going to be Shakib that holds the key to Bangladesh’s chances of doing a Sri Lanka’96 —Photo by Reuters

The second Indian Premier League (IPL) auction in Goa (February 2009) saw Lalit Modi in his element. Surrounded by friends, cronies and Bollywood stars, he announced that his pet project was “recession proof.” We got evidence of that too, with silly money being spent on those worth not even a fraction of what was bid for them. There were gasps when Tyron Henderson, considered a washed-up has-been in his native South Africa, was snapped up by the Rajasthan Royals for $650,000. Many were slack-jawed when Kolkata Knight Riders decided to pay $600,000 for Mashrafe Mortaza. Between them, the two men ended up playing three IPL matches.

For me, watching press conferences where Modi was flanked by Shilpa Shetty and Preity Zinta, the overriding thoughts were not about the hype and vulgar show of wealth. They concerned Shakib Al Hasan , and the lack of interest in him. An all-rounder who now averages more with the bat in the one-day arena than Imran Khan, Kapil Dev and Ian Botham did. He also takes more than a wicket a game with left-arm spin that is devilishly hard to hit. At that stage, with the IPL still scheduled to be played in India – it switched to South Africa only in April after a clash of dates with the general election – the lack of a bid for his services seemed bizarre.

Not that Shakib sat and moped over the lack of interest from the eight franchises. By July, he was captaining the Test side in the West Indies. Having contributed to the first Test win with both bat and ball, he was in imperious form after taking over the leadership from Mortaza,smashing an unbeaten 96 to see the side home. His bowling arm had already done enough damage, taking eight wickets against a line-up weakened by the withdrawal of top West Indies players.

It was somehow appropriate too that he came up with such a performance in the Caribbean. It was there, during the World Cup of 2007, that he first served notice of his special talent. In the opening week, even as Pakistan were stumbling to defeat at Sabina Park, there was no gloating from the Indians in Trinidad. Mortaza ambushed them with the ball, and Shakib’s patient 53 helped see his side home after Tamim Iqbal had treated India’s new-ball bowlers with contempt.

It was a tournament in which Bangladesh veered between the sublime and the abysmal. In the Super Eights, they thrashed South Africa on a sluggish pitch in Guyana, but there was also a pathetic defeat against Ireland. Shakib took seven wickets in all, but was also the only man to cross 50 twice. The second of those efforts, against England on a very quick Kensington Oval pitch, was especially impressive.

With James Anderson swinging the ball and Sajid Mahmood and Andrew Flintoff hitting the deck hard, most of his teammates looked hapless. No one else crossed 15, but Shakib – who came in with the score on 26 for 3 – batted with poise and class for an unbeaten 57. There was no disguising his annoyance as the wickets fell around him, and England’s struggle to get to a paltry target hinted at what might have been had he received more support.

In a team of players who tend to get overawed in elite company, he is anything but. Though he is a young man of few words off the field, those that follow Bangladesh cricket closely will tell you that he can be defined by his confidence. In a region where administrators get some sort of vicarious pleasure from bullying players, he is one they steer clear of.

It probably helps that Shakib’s is not your made-for-reel-life rags-to-riches story. Born into a middle-class family in the southern district of Magura, he’s the son of a banker. Like many others, football was his first love. But with cricket gaining popularity and his mother spurring him on, he joined the Bangladesh Krira Shiksha Protishthan – the national sports institute – in his early teens.

For a boy far from home, those were not easy days. Mushfiqur Rahim, who keeps wicket for the national side, became a close friend, but as one of the quiet ones, he got more than his fair share of bullying. Mohammad Salahuddin, a former fielding coach with the national side, became his mentor and he was only 19 when he won his first cap. An unbeaten 30 clinched victory against Zimbabwe, and he has seldom had occasion to look back since.

Dav Whatmore was at the coaching helm when he broke into the national side, but it is under Jamie Siddons that Shakib has really evolved into a world-class all-rounder. Despite a string of poor results against good opposition, Siddons has never wavered in his support for a young crop of players. Some, like Mohammad Ashraful, have paid the price for their profligacy, but others have received an arm around the shoulder in troubled times.

Shakib has already told Siddons that he wants to be the best player in the world. And in the recent 4-0 trouncing of New Zealand, he was at the forefront with both bat and ball, scoring a century and chipping in with vital wickets. Most importantly, Bangladesh prevailed in two tense finishes, the kind of matches that they would almost certainly have lost a year ago. The captain’s composure and self-belief rubbed off on his mates, and the manner in which Rubel Hossain summoned up a yorker to seal the “Banglawash” said a lot about a side that now reckons it’s ready to push on to the next level.

That notion was reinforced by Siddons, who said: “There is no secret to my coaching. We worked on skills that we never even tried this time and the players’ development has come in three years. It takes time but we are almost there now.”

Regardless of whether Mortaza is fit to lead the side in the World Cup, it is going to be Shakib that holds the key to Bangladesh’s chances of doing a Sri Lanka’96. The Tigers play all their group matches at home, starting with the inaugural game against India in Mirpur on February 19. Two of the matches are in Chittagong, where Shakib’s 7 for 36 [still the best figures by a Bangladeshi] nearly engineered a Test win against New Zealand in 2008. With two of the quarter-finals also due to be played in Dhaka, it would be a brave man that wrote off the home team’s chances.

Last year, The Wisden Cricketer named Shakib its Cricketer of the Year, an honour that went to Tamim this year. After a decade of being mocked and having their status in the international arena questioned, Bangladesh cricket is poised on the verge of something momentous. Shakib warmed up for this season with 35 wickets in the county championship for Worcestershire (avg 22.37), and it is hard to imagine that there will be a lack of interest from the IPL when the auction rolls around in November.

Both India and Pakistan won the World Cup because of the leadership of talismanic all-rounders. Bangladesh aren’t quite there yet, but if they upset a few applecarts over the coming years, there is a fair chance that a soft-spoken young man from a district adjoining the Sundarbans has a great deal to do with it.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/cricket/07-shakib-s-success-leads-bangladesh-s-charge-ha-01

beshideshi
October 21, 2010, 05:53 AM
Feels really, really good to read such an article.

hoax
October 21, 2010, 06:02 AM
Awesome article!

shakibrulz
October 21, 2010, 06:06 AM
Good article, but was just wondering why the IPL bashing, then found out that it was a Pakistani newspaper :-p

Though I agree with the writer here :(

Sohel
October 21, 2010, 09:11 AM
"The heart soars like a hawk." - Lakota proverb.

capslock
October 21, 2010, 09:31 AM
Good article, but was just wondering why the IPL bashing, then found out that it was a Pakistani newspaper :-p

Though I agree with the writer here :(

Er, it's a Pakistani newspaper but the writer is as Indian as they come.

I have to say, Cricinfo forum members aside, their writers have been very fair and always supportive of Bangladesh.

shakibrulz
October 21, 2010, 09:43 AM
Er, it's a Pakistani newspaper but the writer is as Indian as they come.

I have to say, Cricinfo forum members aside, their writers have been very fair and always supportive of Bangladesh.
Oh, okay. Cricinfo has been supportive of BD but however is biased towards india too. :D

nycpro96
October 21, 2010, 03:55 PM
Wow. That gave me goosebumps. Great read. :flag:

Roni_uk
October 21, 2010, 05:00 PM
wow 1 series win and they are talking about doing a Sri Lanka 96. You got to be kidding me!!!

Neel Here
October 21, 2010, 05:06 PM
Er, it's a Pakistani newspaper but the writer is as Indian as they come.

I have to say, Cricinfo forum members aside, their writers have been very fair and always supportive of Bangladesh.

dileep premchandran is a cricinfo regular unless I'm much mistaken.

dolcevita
October 21, 2010, 05:19 PM
dileep premchandran is a cricinfo regular unless I'm much mistaken.

You are right , he wrotes match preview and bulletin
<br />Posted via BC Mobile Edition (iPhone)

layperson
October 21, 2010, 06:55 PM
top article !!!!!!!!!!!!

Tiger-ess
October 21, 2010, 07:13 PM
:up::up::up:

Love this. quiet touching!

Purbasha T
October 22, 2010, 11:36 AM
Bangladesh aren’t quite there yet, but if they upset a few applecarts over the coming years, there is a fair chance that a soft-spoken young man from a district adjoining the Sundarbans has a great deal to do with it.

:-*

Sakibssmc
October 22, 2010, 12:57 PM
I would say, pulling off Kenya'03 is the best we cn hope for. .i mean semi finals. If we get realy lucky .
<br />Posted via BC Mobile Edition

tipu009
October 22, 2010, 03:51 PM
Dileep Premachandran is a leading cricket writer and an expert on the game in India. He is an associate editor of Cricinfo and was reputedly lured into his love of the game by the batting of Greg Chappel

kalpurush
October 23, 2010, 03:52 AM
wow 1 series win and they are talking about doing a Sri Lanka 96. You got to be kidding me!!!
Read the article please :)

shakibrulz
October 23, 2010, 03:55 AM
dileep premchandran is a cricinfo regular unless I'm much mistaken.
Yeah didn't check the author name. Silly me. I like his articles.

Naimul_Hd
October 24, 2010, 11:22 PM
Funny cartoon on Rosh-Alo ! :)

http://www.eprothomalo.com/index.php?opt=view&page=25&date=2010-10-25

jisaan
October 25, 2010, 06:32 AM
isn't the Article toooo short! or ... may be it felt so.....
one ez solution for guys like me is read it a 100 times!

aklemalp
October 25, 2010, 10:57 AM
nothing is impossible if you try,i have a good feeling that the time has come for my tigers to be winners of the world cup next,and shakib is the key,i beg of him not to go play in ipl,and focus on bangladesh more,because our tigers are sharpening their teeth to feast in the world cup next year,go tigers!!!!!!!!!!!!