There has never been any doubting the potential goldmine of talent within Bangladeshi cricket, a test playing nation since the year 2000 – this talent has taken it’s time to come to fruition, yet Shakib has always been a consistent factor, replicating the professionalism and talent needed to succeed at the very top of international cricket.
This post is being written in light of Shakib’s recent achievement against New Zealand at the Basin Reserve, Wellington where he has scored the highest score made by a Bangladeshi batsman away from home with his 217 which has come in 276 balls. It was an innings of aggression in attack and defence and showcased a wide variety of stroke-play (many double hundreds do) but in it’s own way it was unique, it had shown the world that the Bangladeshi’s were no longer a push over overseas – they had finally learnt in seventeen years at the highest level of international cricket how to put their preparation into practise.
There is a lot to admire about Shakib, from leading Bangladesh to their first overseas series victory in the West Indies in 2009 right through to his masterful display in Wellington – he has always shown a modesty, a degree of professionalism and has always been an example to his peers and juniors alike. A genuine all-rounder who has won games for his country with both bat and ball – some may say it is easier to be a shining light among weaker individuals but the fact is that the job still has to be done.
It is hard to predict that Shakib’s talent will be matched in the near future, and though at 29 – Bangladesh will be hoping to get a good amount of time out of him, it will be a nightmare to replace a man who has so much influence over the nations cricket team. Though Shakib has not had to carry the burden of someone like Sachin Tendulkar with India, he has still had to carry this Bangladeshi team at times.
So, a tribute to the greatest Bangladeshi to ever play the game thus far – here’s to hoping we are treated to more cricket masterclasses over the next few years.