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Old November 14, 2015, 12:06 PM
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Eshen Eshen is offline
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Default *** Kamrul Islam Rabbi: The Barisal Icon***

This iconic player from Barisal may get his international debut tomorrow, in the last T20I against Zimbabwe.

Hard work pays off for humble Rabbi
One of the most hard-working cricketers in the entire Barisal division, Rabbi's maiden call-up to the Bangladesh team was not only a moment of relief for the 23-year-old fast bowler, but also provided hope to the southern division. They believe Rabbi's national team call-up will work as inspiration for the other cricketers and more players from the division will represent the country in future.

Although he is a very aggressive bowler on the field, he is equally well-behaved, down-to-earth and jolly off the field. Rabbi believes, “When you give respect to someone, only then will you get the respect from others.”

A genuine quick bowler, Rabbi is a find of the Pacer Hunt programme back in 2007. He topped the round in Barisal by clocking 79mph and although it was Rubel Hossain who eventually finished first in that competition, it was just the exposure Rabbi needed from cricket.

Since then he has played for big clubs like Old DOHS, Victoria SC and Abahani Ltd in the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League. Rabbi also represented Bangladesh in the Under-19 World Cup in 2010 where he bagged six wickets in four matches including a hat-trick in the plate final against Ireland.

Back in Barisal, he is nothing short of an idol to the upcoming generation while his seniors also rate him very highly for his values.

“He is always looking after young cricketers and encouraging them to play positive cricket,” said Moin Khan, a 20-year-old all-rounder who is currently playing in the Dhaka First Division for Sheikh Jamal Cricketers.

“Rabbi bhai always looks after us and shares his experience of playing in Dhaka. He tells us how to maintain a proper practice schedule, how to behave, what should be done to play in the top level, and how important it is to realise the present. He helps rookie cricketers to get a team to play in Dhaka which encourages us to continue playing despite a lack of facilities back in Barisal,” Moin added.

Rabbi's growth as a cricketer over the years and his sensible approach saw him named as the captain of Barisal division as he terms it as one of the biggest respect he has received from his division. One of the weakest sides over the years, Barisal yesterday earned a massive boost as they clinched the Tier 2 title and got promoted. Rabbi said, “Barisal have many talented young cricketers. If they get proper guidance Barisal will be a strong team in the next couple of years.”

His fortune shone last month when he was called up to replace injured Taskin Ahmed for Bangladesh A's tour of India. He fared average, but did well in the following series in South Africa. His pace fetched him five wickets in the three unofficial ODIs while he bagged four in the longer-version game.

While he plays for Bangladesh, do look out for his thunderous batting contributions. Yes, he can also be a very destructive batsman at No 8 while his fielding is way better than most of the fast bowlers these days.
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Old November 14, 2015, 12:15 PM
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Isam's piece -

Rabbi's long walk to the big league
The advertisement that inspired Rabbi was a pacer-hunt programme that was the rage across Bangladesh in the mid-2000s. It was a moderately successful attempt at finding pace bowlers across the country. In the ad, the current limited-overs captain, Mashrafe Mortaza, is seen to be hallucinating about an aspiring fast bowler reminding him to be serious lest he take Mashrafe's place.

Rabbi said he was never serious about playing cricket in his early days in Barisal before the ad prompted him to sign up for the pacer hunt. He clocked one delivery at 79mph, which was deemed good enough to take him to the final round in BKSP where Sarwar Imran, the coach in charge of the pacer hunt, took an interest in him and placed him in the system for the Dhaka club teams. He was soon picked up by Old DOHS Sports Club, and the Barisal divisional side got wind of a pace bowler from their region that needs to be added to their first-class side.

Rabbi's case, however, is more an exception than the rule. There has been a perennial struggle to find someone to replace Mashrafe whenever he is injured, and to partner him with the new ball when fit. Only in the last 12 months has there been emphasis on pace bowling, particularly in the limited-overs format. Mashrafe's preference for a minimum of three pace bowlers has had a ripple effect, as the selectors now scramble to find talented quicks to replace injured pace bowlers like Rubel and Taskin.

But the pace bowling pipeline is far from gushing out new talent. First-class and club teams in Bangladesh hardly ever use a pace bowler optimally; there are lower-level clubs in the Dhaka leagues that don't play a genuine pace bowler at all, factoring in the slow pitches.

Rabbi is one of the few pace bowlers who gets to bowl long spells mainly because of his variations with the old ball. He has impressed with his ability to rev up the pace, use the yorker well and put enough work on the ball with his wrist and fingers.

"Habibul Bashar sir told me in South Africa recently that international cricket is all about playing to your strength," Rabbi said. "He said that since what I have been doing all this time has worked for me, I should not try anything different in international cricket. I know my strength and I think I will try to stick to his advice as much as possible," said Rabbi.
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Old November 14, 2015, 12:28 PM
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I hope het get a chance tomorrow. Need to see if he can challenge the likes of Al Amin, Rubel and Taskin. If so, this will be very good news for us
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Old November 14, 2015, 12:43 PM
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MHRAM MHRAM is offline
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Mashrafe should rest tomorrow and give Rabbi a go. Mustafiz might deserve a rest too i believe
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Old November 14, 2015, 08:54 PM
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Mustafizur's debuted in a t20 too, so expect to see Kamrul too.
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Old November 14, 2015, 11:27 PM
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saw his bowling action, doesn't look like anything special
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