'Did I really not contribute for my country?' - Razzak
Abdur Razzak, the Bangladesh left-arm spinner, has hit out at sections of the media for their excessive criticism following a slump in his form this year. Razzak, who is Bangladesh's leading wicket-taker in ODIs, has taken only three wickets in six games this year at an average of 112.33 and an economy rate of 6.24. Across formats, in 13 games this year, Razzak has taken only eight wickets.
"The manner in which certain sections of the media have written against me in the recent past, sometimes makes me question myself, did I really not contribute at all for my country?" Razzak told the Daily Star. "I don't think anyone believes that my record [Bangladesh's highest wicket-taker in ODIs] is a big deal."
Razzak believed the criticism began after Bangladesh's loss to Afghanistan in the Asia Cup game in March this year, in which he was run-out for a duck. Razzak had almost made it into the crease but did not ground his bat, leading to his dismissal. He had earlier given away 57 runs without a wicket in the Afghanistan innings.
"The things that were written about me the day after that match hurt me and left me surprised," Razzak said. "Nobody even cared about the fact that I was recovering from a grade 2 injury at that point of time. That fact was not written anywhere… I don't know why… probably because I am not as big a player as Shakib Al Hasan.
"I was actually scared of reading the papers the next day. Some of the articles belittled me while others looked like they were providing threats. I did not know what to expect." Since that game, Razzak played only one ODI in the three-match series against India and two games on the tour to West Indies.
"I remember discussing this issue with Wasim Akram during the Asia Cup and he told me not to pay heed to these issues and that as a spinner I have done a very good service for Bangladesh."
The spinner also admitted he had been thrown off by the constant questioning over his place in the side, after his recent slump and the rise of other spinners in the country.
"I have been asked this question so many times that it became really irritating," he said. "Do you (media) want me to forcibly retire? If I have to be replaced then the management will do it. I may be in bad form but I have not reached that level yet.
"I personally feel that 32 to 36 is the best time for a spinner to play international cricket. There were many things in the game that I did not understand before and now I do."