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Rajib, the man who bought Shakib's historic bat

  • Published at 11:54 pm April 30th, 2020
Rajib
Syed Rajib Imteaz during a Bangladesh game in the 2019 World Cup in the UK

Syed Rajib Imteaz, born and raised in Bangladesh and currently a US citizen, did not want to miss the opportunity so that someday he would get the chance to hand over the bat to his kids

It was almost late at night in New York when Syed Rajib Imteaz got to know about an auction that was going to take place in Bangladesh 12 hours later, featuring a significant bat of Shakib al Hasan that he had used to score 606 runs in the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales. 

Rajib, born and raised in Bangladesh and currently a US citizen, did not want to miss the opportunity so that someday he would get the chance to hand over the bat to his kids and say, “There was a cricketer once from Bangladesh. He was the best in the whole world. This is his bat. And you too can be the best in the world.”

Rajib is the head of Technology Origination at Matthews South, a technology-driven capital market advisory firm. 

He got up early the following day and participated in the auction.

 
 Rajib has been named as one of the 50 Outstanding Asian-Americans in Business

“It’s something I was interested in. It’s for a good cause. A piece of history. I wanted to win it for a number of reasons. It is an opportunity to help people at a time of crisis. As you can see, more of these auctions will happen and more money will go to charity,” said Rajib.

“One day when Bangladesh win the World Cup, which I strongly believe in, people will look back to the self-belief that Shakib instilled in our hearts. Inspiration and hope are a million times more powerful than money. I admire Shakib for the inspiration and hope he gives us. And at a time like this, we need hope,” added the passionate fan, who was also present in person for a couple of Bangladesh matches in the 2019 World Cup.

The successful professional who was a managing director of Investment Banking at Barclays for 15 years, played the bids smartly as he had some prior experience in participating in auctions.




 

“I have participated in auctions several times, in charity and other cases. And the rules and the smart way to bid is to have an idea on what maximum amount you want to pay. And then not being switched by emotion,” he said.


 Rajib during the India-Pakistan game in the 2019 World Cup

“There was room to make the bid higher if needed,” said the 39-year old when asked about his plan if the bid got higher.

“As I was bidding, I was not sure whether I will win or not. There was a guy from the Middle East, few bids from India and I think a bank or smaller corporation from Bangladesh. Comparing the uniqueness, I felt that we should keep such a vital part of our cricket history to ourselves.” 

An avid traveler, Rajib has traveled to 70-plus countries across all seven continents. 

But he has a strong bonding with Bangladesh. 

He termed the USA as his adopted home and it is Bangladesh which is his true home, and a place where his heart lies.

“Lots of my relatives live in Bangladesh. I am the eldest son of our family, so is my dad. So I have a lot of younger cousins. Every time I go back to them the love I get from them are unconditional,” said Rajib.

“I miss so many things about Bangladesh. My family, the fruits, the foods and the people. Last time it was December 2018 and eventually if there was no pandemic, I would have been in Bangladesh right now for three months’ vacation,” said the former Saint Joseph Higher Secondary School and Dhaka College pupil.

Rajib has always been passionate about cricket, but work gets in the way sometimes.

“As a kid I used to play football, and cricket as well. I was not very good but due to studies I stopped playing. But I always follow cricket. Particularly, my generation, we used to care about India or Pakistan as Bangladesh team in mid 1980s was not that great. We started to improve and qualify for the World Cup and we got the realization that we have our own team. Newer generation watch the Bangladesh team winning whereas we saw them transforming. It’s a different experience for us,” said Rajib, who was named as one of the "50 Outstanding Asian-Americans in Business."

 Rajib was a managing director of Investment Banking at Barclays for 15 years

“When I work, I have three monitors and when Bangladesh are playing I have one of the monitors watching the match. Once, I was in Texas for a meeting and there was a Bangladesh match. I was in the lobby and watching it on my iphone, headset on, I was shouting and the security guard was looking at me and thinking, what is wrong with this brown guy?”

New York is one of the worst-hit states in the USA by the coronavirus outbreak. 

Locked down at home for seven consecutive weeks, Rajib is more concerned about the older people as he hopes the youth can somehow survive it. 

“It makes me realize how blessed we are, the freedom we take for granted. There are some extraordinary gifts from God and we normally don’t appreciate them,” said Rajib.

At the end of the auction, Shakib wished to hand over the bat once the situation gets normal and Rajib is really excited and looking forward to that moment when he would get to meet the great cricketer in person.

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