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June 27, 2001
The living legend of Bangladesh Cricket, Aminul Islam is now playing against the invincible Australian squad that trounced Pakistan in the very recent triangular series final. Aminul came here to play for MCC that took on the World Champions on June 24, for a three-day tour match.
Aminul Islam owns the envious record of the second highest score in a debut match. The 145 against India is swashbuckling and would be cherished by Bangladeshi fans forever, because it is a token of the country's earliest success in the game's longer version. Then come the 84 in Zimbabwe in the first innings of the first test. Coming back from Zimbabwe, he received an invitation to take part for MCC against Australia, which would be a practice match prior to the Ashes Series. Generally, people expect a batting accomplishment from Aminul Islam but little do we know about his bowling brain. He is a right arm off-spinner who used to be very successful in the domestic matches in the earlier years of his career. Aminul was considered as an all rounder then who used to take four or five wickets in regular succession along with solid handy notch ups. In the middle of his career he quit bowling and began to concentrate more on batting. Since 1994, he was hardly seen with ball in his hand, but that had not reduce his ability to pick up wickets as he used to do beforethe latest example; he wrapped up the tail of Australia giving away only 14 runs in his 2.5 over spell. With bat in his hand Aminul could not rake up success-he failed to handle the swinging delivery from Fleming that trapped him in front of his leg-stump. He was only 1 at that time.
But his bowling achievement reminds us the Aminul we were familiar to watch taking wickets during 1987-88 session. It is not clear why he gave up bowling-may be he thought it would have been difficult for him to run both at a time; may be he reckoned that there are enough specialist spinners in his team al ready. Whatever the reason is, it is quite obvious that in some respect, he wasted or sacrificed his talent as an off-spinner. In the international matches the last time I saw him bowling 4 overs against Sri Lanka in Asia Cup, 1995. After getting the captainship, which seemed to be too burdensome not to have any affect on his batting, Aminul coiled himself more than ever. The pressure of guiding his national side was beginning to distress his batting rhythm and he was struggling for runs-specially we spotted it in England World Cup, 99. These grounds made Aminul Islam decide to give more importance on batting and eventually to quit bowling off-spin.
The fans from the new generation are little or nothing aware of Aminul's bowling capabilities. May be they would be surprised to know about his recent success as a bowler. But those who knew him since his old days, would admit that he could emerge as an specialist bowler too with the same dexterity alike his battinghad he been given some efforts over that.
Plays of the day from the fifth ODI in Ranchi
Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough