19 March 2007
Sheikh Tehsin Ali - Port of Spain
I went to the local hotel where the players are staying. I had a meeting with a friend and since the players were there, decided to check in and see if I could track them down.
Found out that the players have been busy all morning, engaging in light exercises and a little swim session at the hotel pool.
This was not an interview by any stretch of the imagination. Abir, widely known as Shahriar Nafees, was resting and my friend introduced me to him. He came up to me and we talked about his various trips, family life, college, media coverage, and briefly about our cricket in between.
Nafees and Banglacricket founder Tehsin share some light moments after the famous win. ©BanglaCricket
He has a strong grip, always has a pleasant and friendly smile. He is a genuine gentleman and a nice fellow to talk to. Exudes the confidence that you'd expect from a brilliant young man. We didn't discuss cricket too much because let's face it 'he knows he is good and we know that he is amazing. It was heartening to see someone with such great class on field show the same maturity off the field'.
Like everyone else, Nafees misses his family back home during the tours. A lot of the fans probably do not realize the sacrifice our players make because of the nature of their profession. You can truly enjoy the coziness and warmth of the family life only after you retire.
He does miss going to college. Ever since he was picked for the national team, he has not had enough time to go to his classes. He loves the fact that even when he goes to the campus from time to time, his fellow students treat him as one of their own. He hopes to have some time later to go back and finish his degree in Marketing.
Career record of Shahriar Nafees
Mat Runs HS BatAv 100 50 W BB BowlAv 5w Ct St
ODI 42 1497 123* 39.39 4 7 - - - - 6 0
Test 6 402 138 33.50 1 2 - - - - 6 0
Enjoys reading about the team and his teammates on paper. Rabeed Imam, the media manager of the team, keeps the players connected to web. When I saw him, he was looking up some information about our test against Australia. Now that we have done some damage in the ODI scene, maybe he is setting his eye on Test cricket. I forgot to ask him if that's what was happening. He did mention that he was reading some news from some of the foreign sources and could not control his laughter.
Abir enjoys the adoration and the support that he receives from the fan. He was astonished to hear that people came from all over the world to support the team in WI, even from distant places like Japan.
He was truly thankful to the fans that went to support the team against India yesterday. We definitely made enough noise to boost their confidence. He also noticed some of the banners that were on display, one that he really liked read: BANGLADESH IS NOWHERE, and then it read, depends on how you read it, it could be Bangladesh is 'No Where', or, Bangladesh is 'NOW HERE'. Truly a reflection of how he sees his team and his teammates and the country that we all love.