View Full Version : Achievers of the year

December 30, 2010, 11:05 PM
Mohammad Isam

The golfer is a former CNG driver's son who wanted his dad to stop working and enjoy his retirement days. The left-handed opener moved his world from the comforts of his Chittagong home to an apartment near the Mirpur stadium, just so that he could bat whenever it pleased him. The all-rounder used to get pushed around, shy in public but always hard at work in his sports school where he has spent most of his life.

Shafiqul Islam, father of Bangladesh's first professional golfer Siddikur Rahman, is probably sitting in Manikdi this winter, reminiscing with his son of the year he's just had. After turning 'pro' in 2007, Siddikur has had the most amazing journey this year. The 26-year-old's stars have shone brighter than any Asian golfer and his story, the rise from a ball boy to a caddie to the most talked about sportsman in the country, has the quintessence.

Shakib Al Hasan, the No 1 all-rounder in the world since last year, went back to his beloved BKSP (Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan) to play a game of football with his teammates in celebration of their landmark 4-0 whitewash of New Zealand, a series in which he made his mark in every game against a top opposition for the first time.

Shakib's teammate Tamim Iqbal also isn't the sort of person who likes having dull faces around him. So he makes sure everyone, especially those less fortunate, has a smile in their face. After every big knock at home, Tamim hosts a meal for all the groundsmen who tend to the fields, some of whom are rewarded if they get the left-hander out during net sessions.

All three stories are of individuals in their early to mid 20s, who were thorough in training in their formative years and of sportsmen who are aware of the challenges that lie within themselves and beyond, in the greater world. They know that expectations would weigh them down after every good performance, but they have kept on improving and have shown, in the past 12 months, what good can be achieved in the sporting arena through sheer hard work.

Shakib, Tamim and Siddikur also represent the best of sports in Bangladesh this year, turning in all-round performances in crucial games, awaking the home of cricket from slumber and putting the country in the golfing map.

Out of the three sportsmen, two of them play a team sport that is the darling of the public. Cricket has captured the imagination of the public, who have remained loyal to the national team regardless of no consistent performers and favourable results. But in 2010, the cricket lovers started to get what they truly deserved: a fighting team, a world-class all-rounder and an opener who doesn't often get out in the first over.

His stellar role against the Kiwis in October apart, Shakib grabbed the most wickets in one-day internationals (46). He also lead the side in the absence of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and performed in every Bangladesh win this year.

More importantly, he feeds confidence into his teammates, who bat better with him (ten 50-plus partnerships). With the ball, Shakib took far-away Worcester by storm, topping their bowling charts and helping them clinch promotion. For the Tigers, Shakib took all of his 4-wicket hauls in games they won. And he has all the makings to cut himself a niche in world cricket as a spinning all-rounder of high repute.

When Shakib was raging West Midlands, little known Siddikur picked up a trophy southeast of the border in little Brunei and turned the head of the country's sporting consciousness. In the next four months, he trotted around the Asian circuit, picking up one big cheque after another and gathering an unthinkable amount as prize money (more than 1.8 crore taka) from 16 tournaments.

He began with a tie-break winning performance to lift the Brunei Open, the first ever in the professional circuit by a Bangladeshi, and then won cheques worth $47,550, $60,000, $121,250 and $57,900 among many.

How good is he? Right now he's seventh on the Asian Tour's Order of Merit, ranked 16th in the continent and a lowly 199th in the world, but as world No 24 Adam Scott said late in October, Siddikur is a fast improving golfer who has driving skills and an attitude that is impressive to the greats. It was Siddikur's one and only brush with golfing greatness and he earned enough notice for a first-timer.

While not having a financially bright year as Siddikur, Tamim did have a fine year scoring runs, making a score of at least 50 in every Test match. Though he struggled with a wrist injury, the left-handed dasher shaped his game by expanding his shot-making arc. He took the fight to India in January after Virender Sehwag's offensive comments. His 151 in Dhaka however was not his best knock, the lefty improved through two 80s against England at home, one of which very nearly became a rarity in itself a hundred before lunch on the first day of a Test match.

In England, a few months later, Tamim engraved his name on the Lord's honours board (as did Shahadat Hossain) with a century that was as glorious in its shots as it was imperious with his confidence. He followed it up with another in Manchester, an innings he rates as his favourite.

Siddikur, Shakib and Tamim are three very different individuals, something you could tell after a few meetings, but their common paths have helped shatter the concept of one-hit wonders and one-sport adulation in our country.

The country participated in two multi-sport games this year and failed miserably in both, only for cricket to pick up a gold medal in the Asian Games. But most sporting disciplines in this country and most athletes are stuck at their own comfort levels.

These three can are already in a different plane and can take their game to the next level and should, since they only know how hard it has been to begin the climb.

Only if they keep climbing will the rest look up.


December 30, 2010, 11:30 PM
nice article isam vai!

n 2010, the cricket lovers started to get what they truly deserved: a fighting team, a world-class all-rounder and an opener who doesn't often get out in the first over.

i really miss Mash as a fast bowler from this line..if only he could have been what he should have been

December 30, 2010, 11:40 PM
For the Tigers, Shakib took all of his 4-wicket hauls in games they won.

isam vai i think this is a mistake..shakib took 4 wickets in this match vs NZ (http://www.espncricinfo.com/nzvbdesh2010/engine/match/423785.html) and we lost the game..

December 31, 2010, 12:05 AM
^spot on rater_shial vai.

Anyway, nice read Isam vai. So proud of Siddiqur.
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December 31, 2010, 12:06 AM
Really nice article. Enjoyed it a lot.

December 31, 2010, 04:52 AM
Nice article Isam bhai.

December 31, 2010, 06:58 AM
thanks everyone...

December 31, 2010, 09:19 AM
Brilliant. Siddiqur Rahman is #1. The pressure in INDIVIDUAL sports can't be matched with team sports. Go ask Niaz (Murshed).

December 31, 2010, 09:21 AM
i really miss Mash as a fast bowler from this line..if only he could have been what he should have been
^ edited for fun.
HHS. Ami jani, ami jani, (N_W'er shoitani) tomar moner modhey ki!!!
Gold medal winning capitano.

December 31, 2010, 11:52 AM
Good, thanks

December 31, 2010, 03:57 PM
Good article Isam.

As for the Achiever of the Year ?
Its Siddiqur Rahman.
His is a fairy tale story.

December 31, 2010, 11:17 PM
Fantastic read Isam bhai :)

And certainly you have met our beloved Zee's taste!http://personal-computer-tutor.com/abc2/images/LAUGHING%20OUT%20LOUD%2010-24-2001.gif

January 3, 2011, 07:50 AM
great read isam!

January 5, 2011, 01:25 PM
nice article isam vai!

i really miss Mash as a fast bowler from this line..if only he could have been what he should have been

Mash never really had a chance to blossom. It seems that he has been always injured. He had the potential to be one of the top (all-time) pacers from the subcontinent. I blame the medical staff. They did not monitor his work load and how this was affecting his body.