The name of Bangladesh in the world stage conjures up the picture of outstretched hands of rickety kids holding begging bowls, flood ravaged habitats, or, haunting eyes of old distressed women who have lost it all to the rages of nature. Millions struggle there every day just to keep their heads above water.
One man rose all above this, made a bold declaration to the world—we can overcome poverty—and showed the world how it can be done. His model was adopted by the United Nations, and implemented in far and remote countries. He was showered with honor everywhere he went.
He earned the coveted Nobel Prize for his country; yet, the political hacks in his country were hell bent to draw his name in the mud, and they began a relentless propaganda war against him with all state machinery at their disposal—the name is Muhammad Yunus.
Now, another name has risen in the world arena to make Bangladesh proud, and this time it is a young boy who has brought that honor to his country. The name is Shakib Al Hasan—meet the numero one test Cricket all rounder of the world. This he has achieved after being the top all rounder in the world of one-day Cricket for many years now.
Bangladeshi Cricketers are known as tigers. People might have mistakenly given them that name looking only at Shakib—the lone ranger among a bunch of pure amatures!
Bangladesh Cricket team is a joke in the world arena, a perpetual whipping object for all and sundry. To understand the magnitude of Shakib’s achievement, I would offer one comment of a reader, who said, “It is important to note that Shakib does not get a chance to play against a team like Bangladesh and he bowls to defend small scores.” The reader went on to compare Shakib with The South African great, Jacques Kallis, whom Shakib just dethroned to earn his new crown: “I think as a bowler, Shakib is better than Kallis, but batsman Kallis is probably better than Shakib. Also Shakib comes to bat when Bangladesh is 50 for 4 or so, but Kallis bats with much less pressure.”
I think this reader has said it all. Batting under pressure always affects performance, and a lion’s share of Shakib’s innings are played under pressure, since Bangladesh’s top order only fulfill the role of passive passengers, spending most time in pavilion than on the crease. Shakib often plays the role of one maverick, and it falls on him to pull up his team with a shoestring, against all adversaries.
His performance with the ball has to be measured with the consideration that when one really produces a great spell, it is usually the bowler from the other end who gets wickets. Successful bowlers always work in tandem. In Bangladesh team however, in the absence of Mashrafi Murtaza, there is no one else who can throw the ball to trouble batsmen as much as Shakib does. Therefore, Shakib’s quality as a bowler perhaps would have been better recognized if he would have bowled in pair with another bowler of his caliber.
The best of Shakib is his temperament. When he was shabbily treated by the BCB selectors, and was stripped of Captaincy, for no failure of his, it was easy for him to go downhill. Exactly that is what happened to another very talented Bangladeshi, former vice-captain Tamim Iqbal. But Shakib rose from the ashes like a sphinx to conquer the world.
Please wish him your very best; he is just a young man of 24.
First Published on Technorati .