March 24, 2001

We will serve our country with all might and responsibility

He is a debutant centurion, though there are many to reach this dreamy three-figure landmark in the history of test cricket. But he listed himself in the record book in the very first test he and his country had played. 145 in the threshold of his test innings and Aminul Islam are now synonymous for millions of cricket lovers of our country. One of the most talented batsmen of Bangladesh, Aminul Islam is carrying the yoke of the team's middle-order for almost a decade captaining his side for many international matches. I caught him up at his temporary dwelling at BKSP camp in the evening after a day's hard and cumbersome practice session. Still there is no trace of weariness in his face instead it was revealing a glow of excitement. "Surely it's because of the coming Zimbabwe tour," said a frolic Aminul Islam informally known as Bulbul. I took the microphone:

S.K: The expectation is high on you after the outstanding batting display against India. You made 145 and listed yourself in the record book.

Aminul Islam: Yes, I played good that time but now I am looking forward for Zimbabwe avidly cause it will prove my continuity. Now we are working very hard aiming at the Zimbabwe tour only. All of us are ready to give the best.

S.K: You are rather comfortable in playing spin than pace. Is that true?

Aminul Islam: I don't agree with this. Think about my batting order. Most of the time I had to face spin attack when I come in number four position. That is why they keep saying I am comfortable at spin. I believe I can handle pace with the same skill I apply to spinners. I am looking forward to proving it next time.

S.K: What about Heath Streak? Any certain plan to handle him?

Aminul Islam: He is one of the best bowlers of the world. Last time I saw him playing extremely well in Australia and he still retains his form. We have some plans, but I don't want to disclose now. I believe we will tackle him well.

S.K: Ashraful and Sharif are two new faces. They do not have any overseas experience at all. How do you evaluate them?

Aminul Islam: Well, they are the baby of the side and they have lots of talents and they proved it in the domestic league. I am very much hopeful that they will do very good in the overseas.

S.K: But still they are rookies if we consider their backgrounds. Do you think they are not matured enough to play in such level?

Aminul Islam: I will not comment on this because it is a decision taken by the selectors and they took it watching their abilities. But what I can tell that they are performing very good recently and they proved their worth.

S.K: We see, that the team is not perfectly balanced because there are eight batsmen, one allrounder, two specialist left arm spinners and three seam bowlers. So, Bangladesh seems to be in defensive attitude. Is not it?

Aminul Islam: Again I should not say anything about this. Three fast bowlers are pretty scant for the team; in case of an injury of one of them. It will be a problem. But the team management has some specific plans on it.

S.K: The spectators are optimistic about this tour. They are hoping that you will be able to repeat your performance that you had against India.

Aminul Islam: Well I think our main asset is our spectators They are following cricket and supporting us. We are really grateful to them. So, we believe our performance would not keep their heads down. We will try our best to make them smile.

S.K: The present team is lot more depending on the success of you and Akram Khan because both you are seniors and the batting backbone of the team, playing in number four and five positions. In such cases there is always an extra pressure that may hamper the natural play. What do you think?

Aminul Islam: It really does not matter whether we play number four or five. We like to bat according to the merit of the situation. Yes, this tour is very serious and we all know that; we will serve our country with all the might and responsibility.

S.K: Thank you for your interview. We hope the best of luck is waiting for you.

Aminul Islam: Thanks to you and all the viewers.