Inspired by Rustom Deboo’s throwback to the 2000 Asia Cup, I wanted to look back on a more recent edition of the tournament.
Bangladesh has many talented cricketers, but the lack of investment in domestic cricket by the Bangladesh Cricket Board has seen many of them fade away.
I enjoyed doing this segment for Bangladesh, as they have some gems yet to be unearthed.
1. Tamim Iqbal
First-class record: 7125 runs, 43.98 average, 16 hundreds
Test records: 4405 runs, 38.64 average, nine hundreds
Although he takes his time in ODI cricket, Tamim is a very aggressive Test player, and this attitude has paid off many times. Asian batsmen are judged on how they perform in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia. In SENA Tamim averages 43.78, with only Virat Kohli (46.85) averaging more among Asian batsmen with a minimum of 1000 runs). When on song, even the best of bowlers have struggled to contain the left-hander from Chattogram.
2. Shadman Islam
First-class record: 3712 runs, 45.26 average, eight hundreds
Test record: 275 runs, 25 average, one fifty
Shadman Islam has had a rough start to his international career. In his six Tests so far the 24-year-old has had four different opening partners. With a solid technique to grind out the first hour of a test, Islam has a long career ahead of him as long as he performs consistently once cricket resumes.
3. Saif Hassan
First-class record: 2632 runs, 42.17 average, four hundreds
Test record: 24 runs, eight average, no fifties
I like the look of Saif Hassan. Unlike most of the players in his generation, Hassan doesn’t chase big money in T20 leagues. First batting long in the nets to prepare himself for first-class and Test cricket. At just the age of 21, Hassan has a long career ahead of him if he sticks to the basics that has worked for him so far.
4. Mominul Haque (captain)
First-class record: 7260 runs, 41.48 average, 22 hundreds
Test record: 2860 runs, 40.85 average, nine hundreds
I’ve decided to not include Shakib Al Hasan in any of my line-ups, thus appointing Haque as my captain. Whenever Haque bats he looks like he has so much time in his hands. For some reason he doesn’t have a great record outside Bangladesh, but as captain he’s improved his international performances. If given the long run as captain, he’ll improve as a player massively.
5. Yasir Ali
First-class record: 3542 runs, 51.33 average, eight hundreds
Uncapped in international cricket, Yasir Ali has been unfairly overlooked at times by Bangladesh selectors. While many Bangladesh batsmen love driving, Ali looks to play as straight as he can – a very rare feat among Bangladesh players. An excellent puller of the ball, he deserves a Test call up soon to give him exposure at the highest level and perform.
6. Mushfiqur Rahim (wicketkeeper)
First-class record: 6796 runs, 37.13 average, 12 hundreds
Test record: 4413 runs, 36.78 average, seven hundreds
From an average batsman who could keep to Mr Dependable in Bangladesh’s line-up, Mushfiqur Rahim has had an amazing transformation as a player. A highly underrated batsman and keeper, Rahim has scored runs almost everywhere and kept to high standards. The only keeper-batsman to score two double-centuries with the gloves, Rahim has hundreds in India, New Zealand, West Indies and Sri Lanka outside of Bangladesh.
7. Mosaddek Hossain
First-class record: 3097 runs, 57.35 average, 11 hundreds
Test record: 164 runs, 41 average, one fifty
Hossain showed he has a good temperament for Test cricket with a solid 75 on debut against Sri Lanka. For some reason he hasn’t been given the consistent chances he deserves to play in the long format. Bangladesh selectors need to take a hard look at the possible Test XI and give Mosaddek a whole year to develop his game in the traditional format.
8. Nayeem Hasan
First-class record: 108 wickets, 27.7 average, 2.97 economy
Test record: 19 wickets, 20.47 average, 2.99 economy
The third-youngest player to take a five-wicket haul on Test debut, Nayeem Hasan has had a bright start to his Test career. Unlike most Bangladesh spinners, Hasan is very tall (182 centimetres) and gives the ball a big rip. His bowling style is similar to Nathan Lyon, especially the bounce he generates with his height. When the 19-year-old reaches the peak of his powers, Hasan will be a dangerous customer regardless of the pitch. I have very high hopes for him, and I hope he can maximise his potential.
9. Abu Jayed
First-class record: 253 wickets, 29.24 average, 3.51 economy
Test record: 24 wickets, 32.45 average, 3.35 economy
Jayed is the best seamer in Bangladesh domestic cricket. Pitches don’t suit his style of bowling 90 per cent of the time, yet he keeps on trying to take wickets. I remember his opening spell against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve last year, where he exploited the conditions perfectly and had New Zealand on the ropes for the first hour. As he continues to play more Tests, Jayed will continue to improve, and he has shown the hunger for that.
10. Khaled Ahmed
First-class record: 51 wickets, 35.82 average, 3.58 economy
Test record: no wickets, 4.03 economy
If Bangladesh’s slip cordon knew how to catch, Khaled Ahmed would’ve had four wickets on debut. In just two Test matches Ahmed has shown a lot of promise, but the stats don’t show that. Hopefully he can be adequately nurtured instead of being discarded after a few Tests like many Bangladesh seamers in the past.
11. Ebadot Hossain
First-class record: 78 wickets, 33.75 average, 3.43 economy
Test record: six wickets, 89.33 average, 3.77 economy
I’ve just gone ahead with the Sylhet pace attack. They’re the only first-class team in Bangladesh that puts up green tops and lets fast bowlers express themselves. Hossain was in the Bangladesh Air Force not long ago, and it’s been a tremendous rise for him since. The fastest bowler in Bangladesh cricket right now, he’s got a lot of potential, and like Jayed and Ahmed he can become useful Test bowlers if given a consistent run in the long-term.
1. Liton Das (wicketkeeper)
List A record: 4190 runs, 39.9 average, ten hundreds
ODI record: 1079 runs, 32.69 average, three hundreds
Liton Das is Bangladesh’s James Vince. He’ll score a sexy 25 and play a stupid shot to dismiss himself. However, Das is starting to score runs more consistently, and batting coach Neil McKenzie has played a big part in that. A batsman who oozes class, he loves taking it to the bowlers and giving his teams a solid start. Dubbed as the next Mushfiqur Rahim, Das is a very good gloveman as well.
2. Mohammad Naim
List A record: 1821 runs, 45.52 average, four hundreds
ODI record: one match, did not bat
Mohammad Naim announced himself on the international stage with a fighting 81 against India last year, when he nearly pulled off a chase of 175 in the T20 series decider. A technically sound and compact batsman, the 20-year-old has shown his class in white-ball domestic matches. Although he likes to take his time at first, he’s hard to stop when on song. Highly talked about by Shane Watson, Naim has a bright future for Bangladesh and will be in the ODI setup for years to come.
3. Najmul Hossain
List A record: 3262 runs, 37.49 average, six hundreds
ODI record: 55 runs, 11 average, no fifties
Hossain has had a rough start to his ODI career, but he’s only played five matches. His offside game is solid and is a pretty old-fashioned player – a similar batting style to Shaun Marsh. The reason he hasn’t translated his List A success into ODI cricket yet is due to not adapting to the different surfaces quickly enough. He’s only 21, though, and big things are forecasted for him in the future.
4. Mohammad Mithun
List A record: 4319 runs, 34 average, one hundred
ODI record: 575 runs, 28.75 average, five fifties
Mithun hasn’t been given a fixed batting position in ODI cricket, and that’s why he’s struggled to score runs consistently. A top-order batsman, Mithun is comfortable against pace and spin. He’s shown in big games during the 2018 Asia Cup and Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand last year that he can score runs regardless of the nature of surfaces. A big plus in his batting is his ability to rotate the strike which gets undermined in Bangladesh cricket.
5. Mohammad Saifuddin
List A record: 988 runs, 29.05 average, seven fifties, 113 wickets, 27.13 average, 5.23 economy
ODI record: 290 runs, 32.22 average, two fifties, 31 wickets, 31.35 average, 5.87 economy
Although he’s a bowling all-rounder, Saifuddin can become a batting all-rounder which would benefit Bangladesh cricket a lot more. Out of all the seam-bowling all-rounders Bangladesh cricket has produced, Saifuddin has already shown he’s ready for international cricket. A big hitter with the bat, former bowling coach Charl Langeveldt and current bowling coach Ottis Gibson have already improved Saifuddin’s bowling. His ability to swing the new ball has gone up and is the second-best death bowler in Bangladesh cricket.
6. Mahmudullah Riyad (captain)
List A record: 6887 runs, 35.68 average, seven hundreds
ODI record: 4070 runs, 33.63 average, three hundreds
Starting as an off-spinner who could bat a bit at No. 8, Mahmudullah has transformed into a solid middle-order batsman in the past five years. He’s more of an accumulator, but when given the role to play as a finisher the batsman from Mymensingh has rarely failed to deliver in white-ball cricket. He’s the captain of this side as his aggressive captaincy has pushed Bangladesh cricket forward when given a chance to lead.
7. Mehedy Hasan
List A record: 1188 runs, 20.13 average, five fifties, 96 wickets, 33.29 average, 4.59 economy
ODI record: 393 runs, 17.86 average, one fifty, 40 wickets, 40.62 average, 4.65 economy
Since his ODI debut in 2017 Hasan has shown tremendous adaptability in one-day cricket. With not many variations, the all-rounder from Khulna has performed well with the ball regardless of the conditions. His eagerness to learn from his seniors shows he wants to improve his game which is a positive trait. Hasan bowled well in the 2019 World Cup, drying up the runs in all games bar a battering he got against England. A handy lower-order batsman, Hasan can give the ball a good whack.
8. Mahedi Hasan
List A record: 65 wickets, 33 average, 3.81 economy
The only difference between Mahedi Hasan and Mehedy Hasan is the spelling between their names. Both are off-spinners from Khulna, leading to commentators being tongue twisted at times. Although he is a top-order bat in first-class cricket, Hasan plays as an off-spinner in List A cricket. Bowling with a round arm action similar to Mohammad Nabi, Mahedi Hasan is very accurate and keeps batsmen in check with subtle but effective variations. Another handy lower-order batsman who loves taking on opposition bowlers.
9. Rubel Hossain
List A record: 242 wickets, 29.11 average, 5.28 economy
ODI record: 126 wickets, 34.12 average, 5.68 economy
Hossain can go for runs, but he’s been a genuine wicket-taker for Bangladesh in the middle and death overs. Clocking at high 130s, his slingy action has troubled batsmen at times. One of his main traits is getting the ball to reverse swing very late, as seen in the 2015 World Cup when his 4-fer knocked out England.
10. Al-Amin Hossain
List A record: 152 wickets, 25.48 average, 4.98 economy
ODI record: 22 wickets, 27.63 average, 5.5 economy
If I were to choose one all-format bowler for Bangladesh, it’d be Al Amin Hossain. A tall quick, he gets steep bounce at a good pace, troubling the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Chris Gayle and Rohit Sharma in his career so far. An effective new-ball bowler and a deadly leg-cutter for the latter overs, the 30-year-old still has six to eight years left in his body to serve Bangladesh cricket.
11. Mustafizur Rahman
List A record: 124 wickets, 21.58 average, 5.06 economy
ODI record: 109 wickets, 23.04 average, 5.22 economy
Since his debut in 2015, Rahman has the second most wickets in death overs (48) after Jasprit Bumrah. He hasn’t been the same since his shoulder surgery, but with Al-Amin and Saifuddin sharing the new ball duties, he can be very effective in the middle and death overs.
1. Soumya Sarkar (captain)
T20 record: 2131 runs, 18.69 average, eight fifties
International T20 record: 885 runs, 18.82 average, two fifties
The poor wickets that have been provided in the Bangladesh Premier League have generally led to Bangladesh batsmen having low averages. On flatter and harder surfaces Sarkar is a different animal, averaging 27 in New Zealand and 45.5 in South Africa, both at a strike rate of 145-plus. Whenever given a chance to captain for Bangladesh A or his domestic teams, he leads from the front and performs a lot better. Bowls some handy medium pace, taking 12 wickets in the last edition of the Bangladesh Premier League.
2. Afif Hossain
T20 record: 992 runs, 21.56 average, four fifties, 27 wickets, 23.48 average, 8.66 economy
International T20 record: 113 runs, 12.55 average, one fifty, six wickets, 20.16 average, 8.06 economy
On his T20 debut at the age of 17 Hossain announced himself with a five-wicket haul, including the scalp of Chris Gayle. Dubbed as the next Shakib Al Hasan, Afif Hossain has shown glimpses of what he can achieve in international cricket. I’ve chosen him as an opener due to his 2019 BPL performance, scoring 370 runs as an opener and giving his franchise fast starts. He’s only 20, so he’s light-years away from reaching the peak of his powers, which is a good thing for Bangladesh.
3. Sabbir Rahman
T20 record: 3202 runs, 25.82 average, one century
International T20 record: 946 runs, 24.89 average, four fifties
The cleanest hitter of the cricket ball out of all Bangladesh batsmen. Since his T20 debut, he’s shown his ability to hit sixes for fun. An outstanding player of pace and spin, Rahman can still have high hopes of making the Bangladesh T20 World Cup squad.
4. Nasir Hossain
T20 record: 1765 runs, 22.06 average, six fifties
International T20 record: 370 runs, 18.5 average, two fifties
A class player, Nasir Hossain can bat in different gears depending on the match situation. In run chases for Bangladesh, he’s remained calm and taken games deep, being a matchwinner. He can bowl handy offies to keep things tight if the captain gives him an over or two.
5. Irfan Sukkur
T20 record: 214 runs, 30.57 average, two fifties
Sukkur is very unlucky not to have played more T20 games in his career so far. When given a chance to show off with the bat, he’s delivered most times. In his short T20 career he’s shown the adaptability to play according to match situations while also batting outside his comfort zone. Age is on his side, and another ten to 12 years of cricket could see him play international cricket for Bangladesh one day.
6. Nurul Hasan (wicketkeeper)
T20 record: 1156 runs, 21.81 average, one fifty
International T20 record: 78 runs, 19.5 average, zero fifties
The 26-year-old keeper from Khulna has lingered as low as eight or nine at times in T20 matches despite his solid batting ability. From an accumulator to a finisher nowadays, Nurul Hasan has got shots all around the ground and played some great cameos in the Bangladesh Premier League for the Chattogram Challengers. In terms of pure glovework, Hasan is just as good as Test keepers.
7. Aminul Islam
T20 record: 14 wickets, 22.28 average, 7.6 economy
International T20 record: 10 wickets, 17.6 average, 7.35 economy
Plucked out of nowhere to make his T20 debut against Zimbabwe last year, Aminul Islam has been nothing short of world-class for Bangladesh in the shortest format. It’s great to see Bangladesh choose a leggie and stick with him for the long term. If Bangladesh spin bowling coach Daniel Vettori can get Islam to develop a googly before the T20 World Cup, he’ll be able to spin a web in the T20 World Cup.
8. Abu Hider
T20 record: 55 wickets, 28.98 average, 8.18 economy
International T20 record: 6 wickets, 55 average, 9.16 economy
Hider has had a rough start in his international T20 career but deserves more chances to prove himself. The 24-year old left-armer can swing it back into the right-handers and is an effective bowler in the death overs. His batting is something he should work on more often since he averages 58 with the bat in T20 internationals. Virat Kohli who?
9. Taskin Ahmed
T20 record: 86 wickets, 22.96 average, 8.43 economy
International T20 record: 12 wickets, 36.5 average, 7.84 economy
After his action was legalised a few months after his ban in 2016, Ahmed was rushed back into the Bangladesh team rather than giving him time to play domestic cricket. He went for runs and lost confidence in his bowling. Nowadays Ahmed is bowling better and keeps himself in contention for the T20 World Cup. Although he has lost pace, his back of the hand slower balls are executed to perfection, and he has the perfect bouncer.
10. Nazmul Islam
T20 record: 59 wickets, 30.47 average, 7.47 economy
International T20 record: 8 wickets, 33.12 average, 6.88 economy
Islam is another bowler from the Bangladesh academy of left-arm orthodox spinners. Bowling primarily in the middle overs, Islam bowls very accurately, attacking the stumps all the time and drying up the runs. Alongside his accurate off spinners, the 28-year-old has one of the best celebrations I’ve seen in world cricket.
11. Hasan Masud
T20 record: 10 wickets, 40.4 average, 8,94 economy
International T20 record: 0 wickets, 6.25 economy
Masud has something not many Bangladesh fast bowlers have: raw pace. Clocking in the low to mid-140s, the 20-year-old has troubled batsmen in the domestic circuit. Although he has gone for runs in the T20 format, there is something special about him, otherwise Russell Domingo wouldn’t have pushed for his international T20 selection. With bigger grounds in Australia compared to Bangladesh, Masud can be a handful with the pace and bounce on offer in Australia during the T20 World Cup. Only 20, Masud has a lot of potential. Whether he can achieve it is another matter.