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Old October 7, 2003, 07:05 PM
Sham Sham is offline
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Join Date: October 15, 2002
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Default I am a sweat and blood cricketer: Rajin

From the New Age:

I am a sweat and blood cricketer: Rajin

AZAD MAJUMDER and MEHEDI HASSAN

Rajin Saleh came good in the Pakistan series. He has been slated as the new find for Bangladesh. Tough, resilient, and in possession of a technique rarely seen among Bangladeshi batsman, Rajin has aroused the praise, respect and curiosity of numerous fans. In a special interview he spoke to New Age on life before and after the tour that changed his career.
New Age: You kept your promise in the Pakistan tour. Do you have any specific target for the home series against England?
Rajin Saleh: I like to play for myself and thereby contribute to the team. I believe playing for myself and playing for the team go hand in hand. That’s the way I tried to apply myself in Pakistan and I would like to continue in the upcoming series also.
I know after playing some good cricket in Pakistan the expectations are high. I hope to be able to fulfil the expectations.
NA: Do you feel any extra pressure in this regard?
RS: Not really. I think the expectation is a kind of inspiration for me. I will now try to play for myself, for my team as well as for my family. My target is basically to maintain stability in the performance. I don’t like to get a century and than get out for five or six.
NA: Have you studied the bowlers of the England team, you are going to face?
RS: No, I am yet to make any study. However I have seen them playing cricket on television and I got some clues about their bowling. I am confident enough to face them.
NA: You had been used as an irregular bowler in the Pakistan tour. Did it seem like an extra burden to you?
RS: I always enjoy my bowling. And I never thought that bowling could create problems concentrating on the batting.
NA: The Bangladesh team is currently facing a problem with the openers especially in the one-day matches. If the team decides to send you in up the order as an opener, would you be as confident?
RS: I am ready to bat at any position for the sake of the team. Although my favourite position is number four.
NA: What type of support are you getting from the senior team mates?
RS: Oh! It’s really great. I must mention my captain Khaled Mahmud. He helped me a lot on the Pakistan tour. Sujan (Mahmud) Bhai is still encouraging me in many ways. Then there are Habibul Bashar and Javed Omar. These two senior batsmen are helping me a lot after being included in the national team. All of us used to discuss many things in the dressing room.
NA: You have never been slated as a cricketing talent. Do you think, not having to do with such attention helped you mature?
R.S: I never believe in the concept of talent. I am a ‘sweat and blood’ cricketer and that helped me make a return to the team after being dropped after the inaugural Test. I promised myself to become a Test player first and then be a one-day player. Accordingly, my dream was fulfilled in Pakistan with my Test debut coming earlier than the one-day debut.
N.A: You are referred to as the Jonty Rhodes of Bangladesh. What do you have to say to that?
R.S: I am really not concerned what one has to say about me, but, yes, I am an ardent follower of Rhodes, arguably the greatest fielder in the world.
I picked up a knack for fielding in the point and square leg region from him. I am not very fond of slip fielding owing to my rather unblessed height (he adds cheekily).
N.A: During the fifth one-day international against Pakistan, the viewers on television were witness to an altercation between you and Mohammad Sami. What really happened?
R.S: I had hit Sami for two consecutive fours after which he had hurled abuses at me, saying things I could not even utter. In the next ball I hit him for another boundary, walked up to him, and told him to run to the boundary and collect the ball.
N.A: Which version of the game do you enjoy more, one-day or Test matches?
R.S: Definitely Test cricket. The close-in fielding ensures that once the ball is out of reach of the fielders, it is a guaranteed boundary. Test innings always gets more fun once you settle in and can hit the ball over the fielders.
N.A: How would you like to end your career? Any targets?
R.S: With an average of 40 in both forms of the game.

[Edited on 8-10-2003 by Sham]
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