Robiul Islam August 25, 2013

'When Dilshan sledged me, I told him to do his job'

Bangladesh quick Robiul Islam on getting wickets verbally, and the importance of an education

First memorable sledge
I have sledged batsmen at every level, from the Satkhira leagues to first-class cricket, and I have got wickets through sledging too!

The best one I remember so far from Test cricket was in Sri Lanka earlier this year. In the second innings of the Colombo Test this year, I was sledging Dimuth Karunaratne when Tillakaratne Dilshan stepped in. He started to sledge me, and I told him to do his job. He kept doing it, every ball, when he was completing his run. I eventually had him bowled as he was trying to charge at me every ball after we started talking.

First time at Lord's
I was very nervous. I had taken 12 wickets in the three warm-up matches leading up to the Lord's Test. My confidence was high as a result, but when the team was declared the night before the game, I had trouble sleeping.

The first thought that popped into my head was that my international debut was going to be at Lord's. It was a lot of fun playing there. One look at the ground and you fall in love with it. I felt a little uneasy bowling in the first innings, because there is the famous slope on the wicket. I was very excited, but I had to overcome the feeling and get used to the slope. But the five days just slipped by.

First autograph I took
I took it for a younger brother, and it was of Mashrafe bhai [Mortaza]. It was my first autograph of an international player, and so far the only one I have taken.

First time I hit a batsman
I have hit a few since my school days, but the one I remember is hitting a guy called Rony. He used to play for Palli Mangal School and I was playing for Satkhira BN Bohumukhi High School. We were playing on a matting wicket, and when the ball struck him as he tried to fend it, it crushed his helmet and he suffered a severe head injury. He needed eight stitches afterwards.

First cricketing lesson
You have to be serious about your education. How long will a cricketer remain in the game? He has to complete his graduation for real life after he quits the game. Players get injured after a few years of service, sometimes for long periods and eventually quit the game at an early age. What do you do then, especially without proper education?

I have learned it myself, and I would like to tell all the youngsters coming through: please concentrate on your studies and play cricket alongside.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

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