Habiganj youth plays for Finland national cricket team
Nurul Huda Shipon, from Habiganj district, has become a member of the National Cricket Team of Finland.
Although Shipon lost his debut match – finished in the D/L method due to interruption by rain – a few days back, he is hopeful that he will have better luck in the future.
Shipon hails from South Sangor village of Baniachang upazila in Habiganj. The son of a retired government official, Shipon has five other siblings—two brothers and three sisters.
After completing his undergraduate degree in physics from Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST), Shipon began his Master’s degree in Finland.
Later, while studying for his PhD, Shipon started dabbling in the local cricket scene. He participated in the Finnish League by playing in the Bengal Tiger Cricket Club, and soon got the chance to play in the "Elite League".
Finland's topmost cricket tournament, the Elite League, consists of three teams made up of the best players in the country. The best performers of the tournament are invited to play in the national team.
However, while playing for the national team, Shipon lost in his debut match against Isle of Man. It was the first qualifier match from Europe for the ICC T20 World Cup on August 29.
While talking to the Dhaka Tribune in the early hours of Wednesday, Shipon said: "After finishing my honours from SUST, I went to Finland to continue my higher studies. I started playing cricket alongside my work. I soon got a call to play for the national team after playing well for the local Finnish League."
Even though he lost the first match, the tournament has four more matches. In the second match on Thursday morning, Shipon will face Belgium, while in the afternoon he will play against Italy. Shipon is hoping for a positive outcome from these two matches.
According to him, none of the players on the national team are professional cricket players. All of them have other jobs—one is a doctor, while another is an engineer.
Other than him, Tonmoy, another Bangladeshi national from Kishoreganj district, played in the qualifier match for Finland, Shipon said.
"I am an all-rounder," Shipon said. "Besides being a right-handed batsman, I play the ball pretty well."
Talking about his personal life, Shipon said he will complete his PhD in 2021, and is hopeful of returning home afterwards. Among his brothers, Shipon is the youngest. His eldest brother works at Habiganj Post Office, while the middle one lives in Poland. Two of his sisters are married, while the youngest one is studying at a private university.
Speaking about this topic, General Secretary of Habiganj District Sports Association Farhad Hossain Koli said: "We are overjoyed that a Habiganj local has grabbed the chance to play on Finland’s National Cricket Team. We wish him all the best, and hope that he will bring his team to glory."