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Can budding Nayeem bloom into a flower?

  • Published at 07:43 pm December 25th, 2018
Nayeem
Bangladesh's Nayeem Hasan shows the match ball Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

This article was published in the December issue of Sports Tribune Magazine

Bangladesh off-spinner Nayeem Hasan has been the talk of the cricketing arena following his flying debut in Test cricket. 

The 17-year-old bowler from Chittagong was the latest inclusion in the Bangladesh bowling attack, and marked his arrival with a record five-for against the West Indies in the first Test match in Chittagong last month. 

Nayeem was decisive in the Bangladesh attack to keep the Windies batting in the first innings at bay and with his five wickets for 61 runs he also emerged as the youngest bowler in Tests to bag a five-for on debut.

Nayeem has been a breath of fresh air among the Bangladesh spinners. 

Though it is too early to speak, given that the country has seen many flying starts to one’s international career, Nayeem’s different approach has raised hope. 

Bangladesh won the game by 64 runs to register their first victory in the format at home against the Windies, and first since 2009, and it was garnished with Nayeem’s fearless deliveries. 

He showed courage and skill to get the opposition batsmen with loop and flight, and showed great confidence in his ability to turn the ball on a deck that had offered aid to the spinners from day one. 

Nayeem started his cricketing journey in an academy in Chittagong as a medium-pacer. 

Nayeem found his first coach in Mominul Haque, coach of Brothers Cricket Academy in Chittagong and also of Chittagong divisional team.

Nayeem, a bit taller than average Bangladeshis, got his break in mainstream cricket through the U-14 Chittagong district team in 2013 and in two years time got included in the divisional team. 

The same year the off-spinner got a call-up in the Bangladesh U-17 team and since then has been part of the age-level system. 

His first involvement with the national dressing room however, came surprisingly in January this year. 

Nayeem was on tour of New Zealand with Bangladesh U-19 team for the World Cup but had to rush back home for joining the Test squad against Sri Lanka. 

He was not given a break but just after 10 months, Nayeem made the headlines on his debut for Bangladesh in Tests.

“I was still playing cricket when I started as a coach and Nayeem was one of my early students in the academy. Given his height back then, he was given the name “stump size cricketer”. I had to achieve the trust from his father as he was confused with cricket as a profession. Thankfully, the hard work paid off and I feel proud to see Nayeem in the national outfit,” said Mominul.

Mominul revealed that Nayeem was not physically strong and felt the cricketer would suffer in the road ahead as a pace bowler, and that prompted him to change the course of his disciples.

“So I had advised him to try and bowl off-spin. Converting was easy for me as he was very much connected to the game, and particularly with the ball. So, he began bowling off-spin and once he started getting taller with age, it gave him advantage,” the Chittagong-based coach said.

Nayeem’s inclusion in the Bangladesh Test fold has of course added a dimension to the bowling unit, and also some competition. 

His batting ability showed some glimpses as well as the teenager played a crucial 26-run knock in the first innings of the low-scoring affair on a tricky pitch against quality bowling. 

But Bangladesh have witnessed many promising starts end in disappointment and young talents with amazing debuts go into oblivion. 

One can only hope Nayeem does not nip in the buds but bloom as one of the finest flowers in the garden of the country’s cricket.


YOUNGEST TO TAKE 5-WICKET HAUL IN TESTS

Player                Age        Figure

Nasim-ul-Ghani (PAK)        16y303d    5/116

Mohammad Amir (PAK)    17y255d    5/79

Nayeem Hasan (BD)        17y355d    5/61


YOUNGEST TO TAKE 5-WICKET HAUL ON TEST DEBUT

Player            Age        Figure

Nayeem Hasan (BD)    17y355d    5/61

Pat Cummins (AUS)    18y193d    6/79

Shahid Afridi (PAK)    18y235d    5/52


BANGLADESHIS WITH 5-WICKET HAULS ON DEBUT

Player            Figure

Elias Sunny        6/94

Manjural Islam    6/81

Mehedi Hasan Miraz    6/80

Naimur Rahman    6/132

Sohag Gazi        6/74

Mahmudullah        5/51

Nayeem Hasan    5/61

Taijul Islam        5/135


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