Moments of Glory (8)

Special celebration for special one!

Mahmudullah | Published: 21:53, May 09,2020

 
 

A file photo from March 9, 2015 shows Bangladesh batsman Mahmudullah blowing a kiss to the crowd to celebrate his century against England during their World Cup match in Adelaide. — AFP photo

The century against England in the 2015 World Cup was a special moment. The first ever century by any Bangladeshi cricketer in World Cup, at the same time my maiden ton in one-day international. I really cherish that moment, it was an unforgettable experience.

Before the main tournament kicked off, we played a practice match against Pakistan in Sydney. In that match, I scored 80 plus runs [83] against the likes of Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz. Any Pakistani pace attack is deadly and scoring some runs against them gave me a moral boost.

The then coach Chandika Hathurusinghe promoted me up the order. Earlier I used to bat at number six, but in the Zimbabwe series the coach pushed me up the order and I played a few good knocks. Against Scotland chasing a 300 plus total [318-8] I struck a half century which boosted my confidence.

Against England, we had a bad start. The openers departed early. The wicket was tough to bat on. It was a wet green wicket. So I decided to concentrate on spending more time in the wicket rather than scoring runs.

I was stuck in 99 for some time as Mushfiq was on strike at the other end. I was thinking, I will reach the landmark if it is Allah’s will, otherwise it will not come to me. When I got the strike back, it was Stuart Broad with the ball. First ball I faced, I did not take any run. Later, I cleared my head, narrowed my focus on that single delivery and went into a mental zone. I was only living in that moment; no past; no future. The single came from a misfield, but that put me in the history book! I am the first centurion in World Cup for Bangladesh. After that we also won the nerve rattling match which also magnified the pleasure. I will cherish that memory till my last moment.

The special century celebration was dedicated towards two special persons of my life. My wife and my son, who was hardly two-and-a-half years old at that time. I raised the bat and waved a kiss towards the side where the team hotel was. My wife and my son greeted me in the hotel lobby when we returned from the ground. It was a very joyful moment.

Few days back, my son brought out that bat in my house. He plays with my cricket gear, brings things out of my kitbag. Suddenly I saw that he was playing with that bat, which made me very nostalgic.

Samiur Rahman writes the interview

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