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  #1  
Old July 16, 2011, 04:08 AM
abu2abu abu2abu is offline
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Default Wearing the burden lightly - Interview with Shakib Al Hasan

Morning folks,

Last week I was fortunate enough to talk to Shakib Al Hasan. Check out the interview here if you are interested:

http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine...ry/522806.html
Wearing the burden lightly

Carrying a weak and inexperienced team and struggling to deal with the pressure of expectations aren't easy, but Bangladesh's captain manages to do so and remain upbeat

I meet Shakib Al Hasan on a warm July day in London, at an event organised by former Bangladesh Under-19 coach Shahidul Alam for the charity Capital Kids Cricket. The venue is Stepney Green School where the majority of students are of Bangladeshi heritage. The playground is awash with excited faces as Shakib makes his entrance.

Bangladesh's captain is returning to Dhaka next week, and while his stint at Worcestershire has been short, he tells me he has enjoyed his time on the county scene. "Last year I played mainly four-day and Pro40 cricket for Worcester. This year I am playing mainly Twenty20 cricket. But because I've been here before I've been able to adapt quickly to the conditions."

Have the six months of non-stop cricket (straight from the World Cup to the IPL, then England) been fatiguing? "There are positives and negatives," Shakib says. "On the downside, if you're not playing well there's no time to work on your game. But on the upside if you are performing well you can keep your form going".

He has mixed feelings about his performances for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. "I enjoyed my time in the IPL. Bangladesh and India have a similar culture, language and conditions so it was almost like playing at home. I think I bowled well. I didn't get many chances with the bat, but when I did bat I thought I had one good game and one not-so-good game."

When I ask about his team-mates at Worcester and Kolkata, he responds with a smile and says that there is a great dressing-room atmosphere in both camps, though if he had to choose he would count Manoj Tiwary at Kolkata and Moeen Ali at Worcester among his best friends.

In an age of increasing player power, I am surprised to learn that Shakib was not consulted on the appointment of the new coach. All the same, he is impressed with Stuart Law's credentials. "He has played county cricket in England and domestic cricket in Australia, so he understands what players need to do to perform. His experience with Sri Lanka too will be invaluable."

Shakib's admiration for Law's predecessor however, remains undimmed. "I think Jamie Siddons was a good batting coach and the boys really warmed to him. He was also a very hard worker."

Bangladesh's next assignment is a tricky tour of Zimbabwe, which includes one Test match. "In terms of results, obviously we want to win all the games," Shakib says, "although we know it won't be easy playing in their conditions. Also, we haven't played a Test match in over a year, so that's a concern. But then Zimbabwe have not played a Test in almost six years."

He is confident the Bangladesh squad are training hard in Mirpur under the guidance of Sarwar Imran, who has the reins until Law formally joins Bangladesh in Zimbabwe. "Sarwar Imran has coached the national team before, and has been the A team and Academy coach, so he has plenty of experience. The boys are in good hands".

Among the new players named in the preliminary squad training in Mirpur to face Zimbabwe are the likes of batsman Shuvagato Hom and spinner Elias Sunny, whom Shakib knows from domestic cricket. "They've performed consistently for the last two or three seasons. They are good lads and if they get an opportunity they will want to make an impression," he says.

He is generally happy with the squad that has been selected although he laments the loss of fast bowler Shahadat Hossain. "Shahadat was doing well in Test matches, but unfortunately he got injured. Without him I'm not sure who our third seamer will be. There are a few guys around - if they get the chance they will do well. Nazmul [Hossain], for instance, has been with the national team for the last four or five years. He's an experienced guy and could step in."

Shakib also thinks Robiul Islam could present a good option, despite a nervy debut against England last year "What I like about Robiul is that he can swing the ball. Hopefully he'll learn from the experience [against England] and do well in the future."



"We don't have a large player pipeline in Bangladesh, so we have to stick to those who can contribute to the team. I think that's the right way to do it"



When it comes to extending the talent pool under the new coach, Shakib advocates a pragmatic approach. "We don't have a large [player] pipeline in Bangladesh, so we have to stick to those who can contribute to the team. I think that's the right way to do it. We're a very young side, so we're bound to make mistakes. The main thing is to work hard and to improve."

At first-class level, cricketers in Bangladesh need to play more cricket and on good wickets, he says. "That will greatly improve the standard of our cricket."

"All the guys who have played for the last two to three years have played well. They've contributed, and the main thing is, they're always working on their game." Shakib, perhaps predictably, names Tamim Iqbal as the cricketer who has improved the most, but he reserves high praise for Imrul Kayes and Shafiul Islam.

On his personal ambitions, Shakib is circumspect. "I don't like to set big goals for myself. I like to set small goals, series by series. There are some areas I can always improve."

World Cup apart, Shakib thinks Bangladesh have generally improved over the last two or three years. "We have been very competitive, especially at home," he says. That view will no doubt be put to the test when West Indies arrive to tour Bangladesh later this year.

Looking further afield, at issues in cricket in general, Shakib says he supports the Decision Referral System, which he thinks will improve the overall standard of umpiring and benefit weaker teams, who often bear the brunt of bad decisions. "It makes it much fairer. Umpires are less likely to make mistakes [with it]," he says.

Shakib believes the ICC's move to ensure there is no political interference in cricket governance is a positive step; an interesting position, given that to date the president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board has always been a government appointee.

After a quick net session with some schoolchildren, it is time for Shakib to leave. As he says his goodbyes, I am struck by how young he still is - an indicator of how quickly he has risen, from a virtually unknown U-19 player to one of the world's best allrounders.

Cricket is the only major sport Bangladesh plays at the highest level, and the expectations on Shakib and his team are immense. Those burdens, he thinks, had their part to play in Bangladesh's World Cup collapses against South Africa and West Indies. "We didn't handle the pressure well; that was the only problem. The expectations were too high and the media, especially, contributed to this."

Still, he goes about his business with a calm assurance; the responsibility sits well upon his shoulders. The looks on the faces of the students of Stepney Green reflect it.

Capital Kids Cricket is a charity that teaches and promotes cricket in inner London state schools
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  #2  
Old July 16, 2011, 05:19 AM
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Excellent interview. Thanks to Abu Chowdhury.
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  #3  
Old July 16, 2011, 05:34 AM
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A fantastic read. Thanks for sharing Abu bhai - loved the interview
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  #4  
Old July 16, 2011, 05:45 AM
Banglaguy Banglaguy is offline
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Abu Chowdhury, you articles are really good bro! Keep it up!
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  #5  
Old July 16, 2011, 06:13 AM
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Nice read. Good interview considering the time constraint in a charity function.
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  #6  
Old July 16, 2011, 09:00 AM
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Darun interview! thanks..
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  #7  
Old July 16, 2011, 06:10 PM
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Bump.
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  #8  
Old July 16, 2011, 06:33 PM
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Maybe I'm in a pessimistic mode but my takeaways from this
1) the cupboard is bare so Jamie was right to stick with those 15
2) Jamie the batting coach will be missed, especially as Shak has not to work on some technical issues - cue the collapses in Zim
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  #9  
Old July 16, 2011, 09:09 PM
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A couple things to note, I think it was very evident that Shakib had a say in the playing XI at the end of Jamie's tenure, if he playing XI was picked that wasn't to his liking he'd vent (I'm using a very conservative word here) to the media how, it wasn't to his liking and he'd get it changed. Wasn't afraid to throw jabs at Masri and others, I thought he had an agenda on who was picked and didn't pick. I don't think it's the Captains role to pick the playing XI, Vettori did it and we all saw the results. The Pipeline isn't short, he just has a few friends that have been on the team that he'd like for it work out with.

Now we have a new Coach and cycle and everybody for the most part gets a clean slate in the eyes of the new coach, it would be interesting if Player X catches the eye of Law but not Shakib, what would happen.

Also be interesting too see what Law's thinks of Shakib's Asinine PP strategy and his views on the over dependence on spin. Alot of opportunities for the two not to meet eye to eye.

Lastly we have alot of Cricket Coming up, 4 International Tours in the next 6 months ... If were up 3-0. It wouldn't kill Shak to kick his legs up and take a the final two ODI's off, because I don't want to hear the words Fatigue as a excuse if form happens to dip.
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  #10  
Old July 16, 2011, 10:30 PM
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My dearest boro bhai Abu bhai! I love you sir!
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  #11  
Old July 16, 2011, 10:44 PM
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nice interview by Shakib Bhai wish him all the best ............
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  #12  
Old July 17, 2011, 12:35 AM
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Awesome interview Thanks.
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  #13  
Old July 17, 2011, 02:01 AM
wiseshah wiseshah is offline
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i dont know, why everybody says we dont have local talent, or extra bench strength. i think most BD players are almost same caliber except may be tamim, shakib and ashraful. we see in domestic league and A team--several players are performing. who ever gets call in national team, we think they are the future. even after this 15 plus 5 reserve--- we have
1. jahurul islam omi,
2. asif ahmed,
3. hannan sarker,
4. najmul hossain milon,
5. aftab ahmed
6. mominul hauque
7. anamul hauque
8. tasamul hauque
9. faisal hossain dickens
10. tushar imran
11. saikat ali
12. alauddin babu
13. fazle hossain rabbi
14.noor hossain
15. dhiman ghosh
16. farhad hossain
17. farhad reza
18.myshukur rahman real
19. dollar mahmud
20. tapash baisya
21. alauddin babu
22. abul hossain
23. shubhashis roy
24.shamsur rahman shuvo\
25. marshall ayub
26. elias sunny
27, arafat sunny
28. nabil samad
29. sanjamul islam
30.ejaj ahmed


we can name several name like these.so why we still cry that we dont have local talent?
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  #14  
Old July 17, 2011, 03:47 AM
Banglaguy Banglaguy is offline
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^^^ Because I remember on Bangladesh's tour of England one of the commentators said ''Below the 60 players in Bangladesh, there is nothing'' and 60 players isn't enough for a pipeline.
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Old July 17, 2011, 06:55 AM
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thanks for the interview.
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Old July 17, 2011, 08:26 AM
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Aftab Ahmed, a pipeline player?????????????
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Old July 17, 2011, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cricket_dorshok
Aftab Ahmed, a pipeline player?????????????
Not really, but that's all we have. Got to make use of it. And ODI strike rate of 83 is the second best in BD history.
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Old July 17, 2011, 09:28 AM
abu2abu abu2abu is offline
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I've put asterisks next to those on your list who (from memory) have played for the national team before.

I think the argument would be that these guys aren't exactly experienced and some of them arguably not even consistent first class performers.

I agree the talent pool is in fact larger than the likes of shakib and siddons care to admit, but there'as no denying BD's resources are limited.

For example, Deccans (foysol hossain) finally gets a recall (against England last summer) after some strong performances both domestically and for the A team. but he gets picked for the wrong format (ODIs instead of tests) and is used primarily as a spinner even though he is a top order batsman.

Similarly, there's all this talk of Rokibul being too slow, yet the buzz around who should replace him revolves around the debutants Shuvagato and Nasir Hossain. No one thinks it wise to consider recalling other stoic cricketers such as Rajin Saleh.

The selectors should be as fair as possible, and I'm afriad to say I don't think this happened under siddons as much as it should have. If someone does well in the NCL and in representative sides (A team, Academy etc) they should be given a fair chance. being called Tushar Imran (tried and tested) or Anamul haque (young and inexperienced) should not count against them.

Just my opinion..


Quote:
Originally Posted by wiseshah
i dont know, why everybody says we dont have local talent, or extra bench strength. i think most BD players are almost same caliber except may be tamim, shakib and ashraful. we see in domestic league and A team--several players are performing. who ever gets call in national team, we think they are the future. even after this 15 plus 5 reserve--- we have
1. jahurul islam omi,*
2. asif ahmed,
3. hannan sarker,*
4. najmul hossain milon,
5. aftab ahmed
6. mominul hauque
7. anamul hauque
8. tasamul hauque
9. faisal hossain dickens*
10. tushar imran*
11. saikat ali
12. alauddin babu
13. fazle hossain rabbi
14.noor hossain
15. dhiman ghosh*
16. farhad hossain
17. farhad reza*
18.myshukur rahman real
19. dollar mahmud*
20. tapash baisya*
21. alauddin babu
22. abul hossain
23. shubhashis roy
24.shamsur rahman shuvo\
25. marshall ayub
26. elias sunny
27, arafat sunny
28. nabil samad
29. sanjamul islam
30.ejaj ahmed


we can name several name like these.so why we still cry that we dont have local talent?
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  #19  
Old July 17, 2011, 11:59 AM
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Abu, what's was Shak's body language like in this conversation?
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  #20  
Old July 17, 2011, 12:34 PM
wiseshah wiseshah is offline
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its a great interview abu bhai. u covered almost every question. like ur 2nd analysis too
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  #21  
Old July 17, 2011, 07:00 PM
abu2abu abu2abu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RazabQ
Abu, what's was Shak's body language like in this conversation?
His body language was good, he is obviously a very confident man. He was very polite & courteous to me. I must say what really struck me was how young he looks, he's about 5'9" or 5'10", and very slender. I wondered how he hits such big shots with such slender wrists!

Obviously, as captain of a national side, he is a very busy man and it's unfortunate I couldn't speak to him for as long as I would have liked.

One thing he did mention, which I didn't put in the interview, is that he hopes the BCB will be able to arrange a tour to India one day, regardless of the FTP.

As I say he was very kind to me, but I don't think I was able to develop as much of a rapport with him as I would have liked, possibly because our time was limited. i think for example, that Enamul Haque Junior spoke more freely with me.

He seemed to me a warm, confident and humble man and as long as he stays that way I think BD cricket will be all the better for having him around...
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  #22  
Old July 17, 2011, 08:24 PM
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maturity of ice man is very clearly seen in this article...
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It is good to let Shakib off captaincy, it will relieve some pressure. He will be offered captaincy again in a few years when he will be more than ready, Bangladesh will voyage into a new horizon then
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  #23  
Old July 18, 2011, 01:29 AM
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Thanks a lot Abu bhai. Super interview.
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  #24  
Old July 18, 2011, 04:11 AM
Banglaguy Banglaguy is offline
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Is shakib around average height for a Bangladeshi? Because all the Bengali's in East London and London in general are 5'6. So 5'9 is quite tall isn't it?
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  #25  
Old July 18, 2011, 05:14 AM
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^^he is tall as a BD.
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