Moments of Glory (6)

I didn’t play it, just watched!

Tamim Iqbal | Published: 22:08, May 07,2020

 
 

A file photo from March 17, 2007 shows Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal playing a shot during their ICC World Cup match against India in Port of Spain. — AFP photo

My first match in World Cup was against India. I didn’t really play that match, I just watched it!

Because, at that time I was very young and enthusiastic. So when I finally got the chance to play against a number of legends of the game like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Yuvraj Singh; all of whom were my childhood heroes and I was watching them from a close distance, I was just star struck. I was not feeling like I was playing an international match in the world cup. While fielding, it was like watching the greats from close range.

When I was taking strike, only one thing was going through my mind. ‘Can I handle Zaheer khan’s deliveries coming at 140 kilometers per hour?’ Right now I could claim anything, like I was thinking, ‘yes I have taken great preparation to face Zaheer khan, I have my plans,’ etc etc but that would be gibberish. The truth is that I was in a trance and I could hardly recall anything.

Before playing the first ball, I was a bit scared because I had never really played someone as fast as Zaheer. But after middling the first one or two balls, I thought I can handle it. The rest of the innings was built in that rhythm.

After Mushfiq scored the winning runs, we busted into cheer. But at the same time, I did not miss the chance to shake hands with my favorite players! Shaking hands with Dravid, Sachin, [Sourav] Ganguly; that was also a great feeling though we had just defeated them moments ago.

The impact of that win was huge. On many occasions, the charm of winning lasts on that day only, after that it’s all the same as before. But the win against India at Port of Spain, that charm lasted for few more days.

You see, kids sometimes do something remarkable without realising its impact at that moment. Our win against India was such a thing. I was very young at that time, so I was not involved with many things which I am right now. But one thing was for sure, we did not lose our focus after winning.

There was a strong message from the top that we have to make it to the Super Eight. We still had to win against Bermuda. So we soon shifted our focus to the next match. But the win against India was one hell of a win, a win that set the tone for us.

 

Samiur Rahman writes the interview

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