Our selectors picked three new faces for the first ODI against England. Little known off-spinner Jamal Uddin, the familiar U-19 face of Nafis and the slow left-arm spinner Manjarul Islam. Except for Nafis with his on-again off-again performance, we did not know much about these guys. Is it Manjarul, Manjural, Manzural (the Andrew Miller version) or Manyural? He has been named in many ways in the print media of every kind. Well, here are some interesting tidbits to create a portrait of our newfound ODI cap SLA.
Manjural, now 19, played for Khulna, Victoria and Kalabagan. He scored 390 runs (7th highest, avg. 48.75) and took 27 wickets (4th highest, at 47.2 runs each). He also took the highest 18 wickets in the ODIs. He did well, actually, very well in the first ODI and the practice match against England. Bangladesh selector Faruque said, however, this guy was already picked even before his performance in the practice match. I wondered if this call-up was justified.
His performances were noted early on in the U19 training camp in 2001 by then coach Carlton (Sri Lanka) and others. He was however since overshadowed by the dazzling new speedsters named Mashrafe and Talha. Andy Roberts and Javed Miandad also coached that camp.
He took part in the 2000 U-17 Tournament. Manjural had minimum success there, with just 4 wickets in 5 matches and 13 late runs in one of them. (He was listed as Manjur-Ul-Islam there). He was also listed on BCB U21 squad as Manzarul Islam Rana where he played with the likes of Hannan, Rajin and Ashraful.
Lately, Manjural begun showing signs of some aggression with both bat and ball. The two emerging trends in him seem to be bowling with vigor and getting some late, useful slog runs. Some of his recent matches at home and abroad depict these characteristics very well.
Manjural?s performance was vital in Khulna?s win of the first-ever national title. In a crucial match against the favored opponent Dhaka, he took a 7 for 82. He also made a 73-ball 53 at number nine spot in the same match. In the league playing for Kalabagan, he showed similar talent with the ball and the bat alike. No wonder Mr. Faruque finds confidence in him. They both played for KCC.
Manjural played in England as early as July of this year, in the Surrey County Championship, 1st eleven, Division two. The club that recruited him was none other than the Old Midwhitgiftians or OMW in short. Leave it to the OMWs to list him as Manyarul. He served them well by taking regular wickets and scoring useful runs. In one match he took 5-39 and was 37 not out. In another, he was the Man of the Match for a commanding performance of 6-39 and 15 not out. He took 3-44 in yet another.
Well, what?s in a name anyways? Our mainstay spinner Rafique was sidelined with injury & we got the first look at Rana (easier and simpler, isn?t it?) under the most trying conditions. This much is clear, it may not be easy to ignore him from now on. Here is the last piece of interesting info on him: He played alongside Mr. Mark Butcher at that Old Midwhitgifians in England. Hope he shows some of Mark?s batting skills next time he gets a chance.