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February 7, 2008
"Rafique is our most experienced spinner. We have recalled him [after he missed out of the New Zealand series] because our chances of winning the series depend on him," Bangladesh chief selector Rafiqul Alam told AFP, adding that Rafique told him about the his decision to retire.
Rafique, who is Bangladesh's highest wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs with 94 and 119 wickets respectively, is aiming to sign off by becoming the first bowler from his country to take 100 Test wickets.
He made his ODI debut against India in Sharjah in April 1995, and played in Bangladesh's inaugural Test in November 2000, also against India, and was their most economical bowler with figures of 3 for 117 in 51 overs. Rafique played starring roles in Bangladesh's first ODI and Test wins: against Kenya in 1999 he followed three wickets with 77 as opener and, against Zimbabwe in early 2005, he claimed figures of 5 for 65.
An aggressive lower-order batsman, Rafique has scored 1035 at 19.52 in his 31 Tests, his only century coming while batting at No. 9 against West Indies in St. Lucia, when he helped Bangladesh claim a vital first-innings lead.
In the one-day format, Rafique has scored 1191 runs at 13.38, and is the first Bangladesh player to achieve the 1000 runs and 100 wickets double in ODIs.
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