Bangladesh won their first match against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka today exactly seven years ago but two of the heroes of that match, Anamul Haque and Nasir Hossain, have now lost their way in international cricket despite once seen as the future of Bangladesh cricket.
Anamul made 40 off 46 balls which included a run-a-ball 77-run opening stand with Mohammad Ashraful and Nasir remained unbeaten on 33 off 27 balls to guide the team to a nervy three-wicket win by Duckworth-Lewis method in the rain interrupted final match of the series.
The win helped the Tigers level the three-match series 1-1, with the second match getting rained out, which was the first time they avoided a series defeat against the island nation in a bi-lateral series.
Anamul and Nasir were then considered an important part of Bangladesh team in white-ball cricket but now both are missing from the national team picture despite making flying starts in international cricket.
Anamul announced his arrival in 2012, when he struck a century in only his second ODI knock against West Indies in Khulna.
Anamul had earlier made waves in age-level cricket, being the highest run-getter of the 2012 ICC Under-19 World Cup with 365 runs, and had a decent record in ODIs after three years in international cricket, scoring 892 runs in 25 innings with an average of 35.68 with three centuries.
He hit his first road-block in international cricket in the 2015 ICC World Cup, where he had to leave the tournament midway due to a shoulder injury he suffered during fielding against Scotland.
In his absence, Soumya Sarkar impressed at the top order, batting at number three in the World Cup and after the tournament opening the innings in the home series’ against India, Pakistan and South Africa, where he played an instrumental role in three back-to-back series wins.
Along with Soumya, Liton Das also emerged after the World Cup as another promising prospect in the top order and Anamul got lost in the shuffle.
It took Anamul almost three years to get another chance in ODIs, in the home tri-series against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe, but he failed to grab onto the opportunity, scoring just 55 runs of four innings.
He was then picked for the ODI series in West Indies the same year and got to play one match in the 2019s three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka but failed to justify his call-up.
The opener, however, has been repeatedly ignored in Tests, where he last played in 2014, despite being the highest run-getter in country’s first-class competition Bangladesh Cricket League for the last two seasons.
His selfish batting was one reason made him unwanted by former coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and in the post- Hathurusinghe he simply appeared as not good enough.
Nasir began his career with a fifty on debut against Zimbabwe in 2011 in Harare and enjoyed his best spell in ODIs in 2013, when he made 321 runs in just eight innings at an average of 64.20 with a strike rate of 98.46.
But Nasir saw the other side of the coin in the following year, where he made just 225 runs at a lowly average of 20.45 with a paltry strike rate of 69.65.
After another subpar year in international cricket in 2015, Bangladesh’s then head coach Hathurusinghe lost his faith on the player and ousted him from the team in 2016.
Nasir’s dubious personal discipline and lack of intent to work hard left him faded away though he got a few more chance lately only to fail to show the same cutting edge.
The last time Nasir was given a chance in the ODI side was in 2018 in the same tri-series where Anamul made his ODI comeback.
He managed to score just five runs off three innings and claim just one wicket in the series and since then has not knocked on the national team’s doors.
Nasir has been in the news multiple times for the turmoil in his personal life and all the negative publicity seemingly had a dire effect on the player.
A knee injury while playing football in a remote district came as the final blow for his already fading international career.
Anamul and Nasir are respectively 27 and 28-year old right now, meaning they still have a chance to turn around their careers otherwise they will be added to the long list of Bangladeshi players who never implemented their talent to the fullest in international cricket.
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