May 8, 2021

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Announcing to stand on one’s own two feet

He always remembers his favorite stolen China Phoenix bicycle. Especially after any achievement in cricket, it peeks at the door of the mind. In the midst of the indescribable joy of the first Test century at the Pallekele Stadium in Kandy, Nazmul Hossain Shantar must have remembered that two-wheeled vehicle. That was also the vehicle of his dream of becoming a cricketer.

The story begins in the remote village of Ranhat in Rajshahi. Clemson Cricket Academy in Rajshahi city is 22 km away from there. He used to ride his bicycle on the long journey from the village to the city. Couldn’t go the whole way. He used to leave his bicycle in the garage at a place called Katakhali and get on the bus. Get off at Railgate bus station. Then he would go a little further by easy bike. The end of the path is not there. There was a long way to go on foot. In the story of Nazmul’s daily hard work and sweat to become a cricketer in the courtyard of the academy, there is also the tiring stress of coming and going. Those days of hardship also brought benefits. Age-based cricket made the teenager from a remote village stand on his own two feet.

Flowers blossomed in such a way that almost everyone involved in age-based cricket was intoxicated by its fragrance. One of them, Nazmul Abedin Fahim, left the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) earlier. Now BKSP cricket adviser Shakib Al Hasan’s’ cricket guru ‘Nazmul was also overwhelmed,’ Shant forced us to keep an eye on him. In age-based cricket, if someone scored a century, we would assume that it would take many more matches to make the next one. But Shant once scored 175 and 213 runs in two consecutive matches in the Under-16 National Championship (in 2013). He is unbeaten in two innings. That’s when we realized this guy has the ability to play big innings. In those two innings, he set a standard for that level of cricket. ‘

After such a performance, it was natural for him to get involved in the future plans of cricket in the country. He played the 2018 Youth World Cup in the country. He also ended his youth ODI career with the highest run in the history of cricket at that stage. He was also taken on a tour of New Zealand in 2016 as part of his future thinking. The purpose is to learn from the team. There was no talk of play. But the injury-plagued team was forced to make his Test debut in Christchurch. Couldn’t do much. However, since he is being considered as the future, Nazmul was also being given the opportunity to stand on his own two feet at regular intervals. But there is no fifty in the Tests except the 71-run innings against Zimbabwe on home soil last year. Not only Tests, he could not in ODIs, he could not in T20s. In the middle of the ODI series against the West Indies, Shakib Al Hasan was removed and he was given the number three position in batting. Unable to take advantage, Nazmul also scored only 40 runs in four innings of two Tests against the Caribbean. However, at a time when criticism of the young man was getting louder and louder, he said he was capable of scoring Pallekele’s century. It is also an announcement to stand on one’s own feet in international cricket. Although Nazmul did not think he had anything to prove himself, ‘there is nothing to prove himself. I had faith that I could run. Because in the last five-six months I have worked hard. Yeah Al that sounds pretty crap to me, Looks like BT aint for me either.

It matched in faith. And the unbeaten 127-run innings at the end of the first day of the Candy Test also gave him the foundation to stand on his own two feet, at least internationally.

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