Bangladesh in Sri Lanka 2012-13 March 29, 2013

Razzak draws strength from career setbacks

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Abdur Razzak, the Bangladesh left-arm spinner, thought he would miss the chance to complete 200 ODI wickets in the three-match series against Sri Lanka. After going wicketless in the first game and the second one being abandoned, he ended up getting all five wickets required to reach the landmark in the final game in Pallekele, a testament to his persistence over difficult periods in his career.

"After the first two matches, I thought I would have to wait a long time for another opportunity," Razzak said. "It came in the third game and I was extremely happy. The moment when I took the fifth wicket was unforgettable. Before the series I had it in mind to reach the 200-wicket mark."

Razzak's numbers, and stature as the most experienced bowler in the line-up have made him a valuable member of the ODI side. All but one of his four-wicket hauls came in defeats while all four of his five-fors have been in wins.

Yet, it is his experience with the darker side of international cricket that has taught him the lesson of not taking even an ordinary spell of bowling for granted. Razzak was twice pulled up for chinks in his bowling action, the second occasion costing him almost a year's international cricket. He was first reported in 2004 and four years later told to correct his action.

"I am one of those few players from Bangladesh who has seen some really critical periods in their career. When the bowling action was questioned, everyone spoke to me as if my career was over. I was strong on the inside. I didn't think my career was over.

"I think that has given me a lot of strength as a person. I love taking up challenges, I can't hide away from bowling in certain periods because it doesn't make me comfortable. I like to go through these difficult experiences during matches or otherwise, so that I know what to do the next time it happens," he said.

Razzak has experienced memorable moments too. After taking three wickets on debut against minnows Hong Kong, he was impressive against Pakistan in his next game. Problems with his bowling action kept him out till 2006 when he became a regular for another three years. During this time he was instrumental in Bangladesh's progression to the 2007 World Cup's Super Eights.

Razzak was the Man of the Match against West Indies in his comeback game in 2009 after correcting his action. It was followed by a hat-trick against Zimbabwe in 2010, and through ups and downs, he has remained the backbone of a side short on experience.

"It is hard to make a distinction on which has been my best moment. There have been so many good moments. But I think I have enjoyed the fact that the 200 wickets have not taken too long. I have done it in 141 innings which gives me a lot of pride."

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rafelgibt on March 31, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    Congrats to Abdur Razzak......He is the key factor of BAN success but unnoticed for a long time.I hope he would target for 400 wickets and get that milestone with ease.Roar TIGER Roar>>>>

  • on March 31, 2013, 0:51 GMT

    He is the most consistent bowler of the team...

  • on March 30, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    That is the sad thing about being a left arm spinner; you go unnoticed. When did the world last saw a legendary left arm spinner? I don't remember the closest was Bedi and that was decades ago. SLA is not as attractive or as attacking as leg spin or classic off break, so not just the bowler but even the records created by a slow left arm bowler will go unnoticed.

    Let us congratulate Razzak for this achievement.

  • Ali_86xz on March 30, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    What a bowler! He reached 200 wicket mark before many legends. Wasim Akram, Zaheer Khan, Ambrose, Kumble, Srinath, Murali, Anderson, Streak, Vaas, Kapil Dev, Harbhajan, Walsh, Abdul Razzaq and Vettori! What a Legend is he Razzak! The 15th fastest to reach the landmark! Wish him all the best in the future.

  • on March 30, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    Sri Lanka is riding on Dilshan and Sanga for a while now, who are btw, one of the two greatest batsmen I've ever seen. Take them out, and I won't be surprised if SL can't reach 100 in 50 overs.

  • Ali_86xz on March 30, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    For the past few years of BD Cricket. Shakib and Razzak have been their main strength. I say that BD have done excellent in this series against Sri Lanka, especially without their captain Shakib and Razzak in the Tests. Well played BD. They are really showing alot of maturity and they're building lots of confidence for the future of BD Cricket.

  • on March 30, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    The hard work is what 200 wickets in shortspan of time.

  • BanglaBandhu on March 29, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    It's true that the BD batsmen get all the glory but Razzak performance was exceptional. He kept a cool head and stifled SL. Without his performance SL would have most definitely scored more and if it was not for Razzak's five wickets SL would have scored 330+. He is a credit to the teams and showed fortitude in coming back despite his critics. A well deserved 200 wickets. I don't know about you guys but Playing SL in their own back garden has seen many records fall so a BIG Thank you to all of Sri Lanka for those records!

  • on March 29, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    Razzak is the true unsung hero of Bangladesh. When fans talk its always about Tamim or Sakib; Mushy and now Nasir. Razzak has continued to toil away almost unnoticed. To have taken 200 in such a short span is truly remarkable and yet this seems to have escaped attention from most. Hope they don't drop him from the team giving age as an excu

  • on March 29, 2013, 19:54 GMT

    Yap, We are also proud of you. Congratulations, and wish you all the best for the coming years. We want you to reach the 400 mark...

  • Rafelgibt on March 31, 2013, 4:34 GMT

    Congrats to Abdur Razzak......He is the key factor of BAN success but unnoticed for a long time.I hope he would target for 400 wickets and get that milestone with ease.Roar TIGER Roar>>>>

  • on March 31, 2013, 0:51 GMT

    He is the most consistent bowler of the team...

  • on March 30, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    That is the sad thing about being a left arm spinner; you go unnoticed. When did the world last saw a legendary left arm spinner? I don't remember the closest was Bedi and that was decades ago. SLA is not as attractive or as attacking as leg spin or classic off break, so not just the bowler but even the records created by a slow left arm bowler will go unnoticed.

    Let us congratulate Razzak for this achievement.

  • Ali_86xz on March 30, 2013, 3:35 GMT

    What a bowler! He reached 200 wicket mark before many legends. Wasim Akram, Zaheer Khan, Ambrose, Kumble, Srinath, Murali, Anderson, Streak, Vaas, Kapil Dev, Harbhajan, Walsh, Abdul Razzaq and Vettori! What a Legend is he Razzak! The 15th fastest to reach the landmark! Wish him all the best in the future.

  • on March 30, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    Sri Lanka is riding on Dilshan and Sanga for a while now, who are btw, one of the two greatest batsmen I've ever seen. Take them out, and I won't be surprised if SL can't reach 100 in 50 overs.

  • Ali_86xz on March 30, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    For the past few years of BD Cricket. Shakib and Razzak have been their main strength. I say that BD have done excellent in this series against Sri Lanka, especially without their captain Shakib and Razzak in the Tests. Well played BD. They are really showing alot of maturity and they're building lots of confidence for the future of BD Cricket.

  • on March 30, 2013, 3:23 GMT

    The hard work is what 200 wickets in shortspan of time.

  • BanglaBandhu on March 29, 2013, 20:53 GMT

    It's true that the BD batsmen get all the glory but Razzak performance was exceptional. He kept a cool head and stifled SL. Without his performance SL would have most definitely scored more and if it was not for Razzak's five wickets SL would have scored 330+. He is a credit to the teams and showed fortitude in coming back despite his critics. A well deserved 200 wickets. I don't know about you guys but Playing SL in their own back garden has seen many records fall so a BIG Thank you to all of Sri Lanka for those records!

  • on March 29, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    Razzak is the true unsung hero of Bangladesh. When fans talk its always about Tamim or Sakib; Mushy and now Nasir. Razzak has continued to toil away almost unnoticed. To have taken 200 in such a short span is truly remarkable and yet this seems to have escaped attention from most. Hope they don't drop him from the team giving age as an excu

  • on March 29, 2013, 19:54 GMT

    Yap, We are also proud of you. Congratulations, and wish you all the best for the coming years. We want you to reach the 400 mark...

  • on March 29, 2013, 19:52 GMT

    Abdur razzak is the 15 th man who make fastest 200 ODI wicket.......really feeling proud.......in this list Murali take 147inning ...murali is 21th man and Harbazan is 26th position..saqline is 1st in the list....shane warne 5th......b. Lee is second.....now analyis yourself

  • hasib9 on March 29, 2013, 18:25 GMT

    Razzak is the most valuable player in the Bangladesh side. People don't realize it. There are many fans for Shakib, Mashrafee, and even Tamim. But Razzak had been Assn unsung hero for a long time. Congratulations buddy. Wish you a lot of success in your career. Keep up the good work.

  • Energetic. on March 29, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    Its great to see some fans of other teams rating Bangladesh when they discuss the stats against certain opposition despite hearing time and time again from them that this team i.e. Ireland etc are better than Bangladesh looks like they are contradicting their own statements somethings up :)

  • Captainman on March 29, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    Its pointless comparing left arm spinner to off or leg. Let's look at Herath ODI bowling averages - 40 matches only 30 wicket strike rate 60.6 - Australia- 09 wickets(AVG 39.77), India- 04 wickets (AVG 69.00), England - 00 wickets(AVG 47.00), NZ- 05 wickets(AVG 27.40), Pak- 03 wicket (AVG 33.66) , SA- 5 wickets (AVG 45.60) WI- 02 wickets (AVG 43.52) some ODI stats Razzak much much better left arm spinner in ODIs.

  • TheRisingTeam on March 29, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    Wow!!! I remember Malinga achieving 6/38 career best figures against Kenya. How about Murali several 5 wicket hauls against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh? :)

  • on March 29, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    @Albert_cambell: " His 166 Wickets came against 9 TEST TEAMS, Only his 34 Wickets came against WEAK TEAMS. So, we can call him MURALI of Bengal". Murali got 523 Wickets in 334 Innings. Razzak got 200 wickets in 140 Innings. Usually Teams like Bangladesh & Zimbabwe do not enough matches in a year like the top 8 TEAMS GET. Sri Lanka, is one of the best teams of the world and they get lots of Matches in a year and their Players` chances of getting MORE MORE wickets gets increased.

  • fr600 on March 29, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    Sri Lanka is riding on Dilshan and Sanga for a while now, who are btw, one of the two greatest batsmen I've ever seen. Take them out, and I won't be surprised if SL can't reach 100 in 50 overs.

  • on March 29, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    @ Albert_cambell...bro, well done with the great statistics you wrote here. But one thing you must have to admit, Bangladesh cricket team didn't get many chance to play with your so called "top teams". India, Australia, England or South Africa cricket teams only play with BD team in any tournament in a year. Those "top teams" never called BD for a home Serious. So, it's obvious Razzak have to play with Zimbabwe, WI, Pak or SI in these days.

  • asiacricket1234 on March 29, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    @Albert: The stats u posted here if that is right than it shows that apart from India & NZ he has a decent average against every single team. U wanted to say he is a rubbish bowler and proved urself wrong. Thanks Mate :). Anyway he always bowl during the power play, in first 10 over and also in last 5over and he has done a great job for Bangladesh. He is not Murali or warne but he is definitely one of the Best BD has. Anyone who doesn't know about Razzak Career will try to Judge him from the stats of his whole career but if u just look at his performance in last 3 year u'll see how much he improved. Congrats to him for his achievement. Wish him for a better future :)

  • fariha_loves-afridi on March 29, 2013, 17:11 GMT

    Well done razzak. Keep roaring like a real royal bengal tiger ;-)

  • priceless1 on March 29, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    SL was on target to score 330+ but as usual their middle order and their inability to play spin got exposed !

  • Albert_cambell on March 29, 2013, 16:29 GMT

    If he continues to play weak teams, he would even go onto make world record for most wickets in ODI matches. look at his great against strong teams. Australia- 11 wickets(AVG 32.81), India- 7 wickets(AVG 71.42), England - 12 wickets(AVG 30.41), NZ- 11 wickets(AVG 43.27), pak- 17 wicket(AVG 33.94) , SA- 8wickets(AVG 39.5) SL- 19 wickets(AVG 36.15) WI- 18 wickets (AVG 28.66). This shows he is nothing against top teams. BD fans think he is someone like warne or murali or kumble after taking 200 wickets(but mostly against weak teams).

  • InsideHedge on March 29, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    I just sent in a comment to a diff article but it should have gone here: Congrats to Razzak on becoming the 1st Bangla player to reach 200 ODI wickets, a tremendous effort, one he should rightfully be proud of.

    Looking at his detailed stats, I was surprised to see that he has a healthy number of dismissals against established countries. Hats off to him, well done.

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  • InsideHedge on March 29, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    I just sent in a comment to a diff article but it should have gone here: Congrats to Razzak on becoming the 1st Bangla player to reach 200 ODI wickets, a tremendous effort, one he should rightfully be proud of.

    Looking at his detailed stats, I was surprised to see that he has a healthy number of dismissals against established countries. Hats off to him, well done.

  • Albert_cambell on March 29, 2013, 16:29 GMT

    If he continues to play weak teams, he would even go onto make world record for most wickets in ODI matches. look at his great against strong teams. Australia- 11 wickets(AVG 32.81), India- 7 wickets(AVG 71.42), England - 12 wickets(AVG 30.41), NZ- 11 wickets(AVG 43.27), pak- 17 wicket(AVG 33.94) , SA- 8wickets(AVG 39.5) SL- 19 wickets(AVG 36.15) WI- 18 wickets (AVG 28.66). This shows he is nothing against top teams. BD fans think he is someone like warne or murali or kumble after taking 200 wickets(but mostly against weak teams).

  • priceless1 on March 29, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    SL was on target to score 330+ but as usual their middle order and their inability to play spin got exposed !

  • fariha_loves-afridi on March 29, 2013, 17:11 GMT

    Well done razzak. Keep roaring like a real royal bengal tiger ;-)

  • asiacricket1234 on March 29, 2013, 17:17 GMT

    @Albert: The stats u posted here if that is right than it shows that apart from India & NZ he has a decent average against every single team. U wanted to say he is a rubbish bowler and proved urself wrong. Thanks Mate :). Anyway he always bowl during the power play, in first 10 over and also in last 5over and he has done a great job for Bangladesh. He is not Murali or warne but he is definitely one of the Best BD has. Anyone who doesn't know about Razzak Career will try to Judge him from the stats of his whole career but if u just look at his performance in last 3 year u'll see how much he improved. Congrats to him for his achievement. Wish him for a better future :)

  • on March 29, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    @ Albert_cambell...bro, well done with the great statistics you wrote here. But one thing you must have to admit, Bangladesh cricket team didn't get many chance to play with your so called "top teams". India, Australia, England or South Africa cricket teams only play with BD team in any tournament in a year. Those "top teams" never called BD for a home Serious. So, it's obvious Razzak have to play with Zimbabwe, WI, Pak or SI in these days.

  • fr600 on March 29, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    Sri Lanka is riding on Dilshan and Sanga for a while now, who are btw, one of the two greatest batsmen I've ever seen. Take them out, and I won't be surprised if SL can't reach 100 in 50 overs.

  • on March 29, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    @Albert_cambell: " His 166 Wickets came against 9 TEST TEAMS, Only his 34 Wickets came against WEAK TEAMS. So, we can call him MURALI of Bengal". Murali got 523 Wickets in 334 Innings. Razzak got 200 wickets in 140 Innings. Usually Teams like Bangladesh & Zimbabwe do not enough matches in a year like the top 8 TEAMS GET. Sri Lanka, is one of the best teams of the world and they get lots of Matches in a year and their Players` chances of getting MORE MORE wickets gets increased.

  • TheRisingTeam on March 29, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    Wow!!! I remember Malinga achieving 6/38 career best figures against Kenya. How about Murali several 5 wicket hauls against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh? :)

  • Captainman on March 29, 2013, 18:04 GMT

    Its pointless comparing left arm spinner to off or leg. Let's look at Herath ODI bowling averages - 40 matches only 30 wicket strike rate 60.6 - Australia- 09 wickets(AVG 39.77), India- 04 wickets (AVG 69.00), England - 00 wickets(AVG 47.00), NZ- 05 wickets(AVG 27.40), Pak- 03 wicket (AVG 33.66) , SA- 5 wickets (AVG 45.60) WI- 02 wickets (AVG 43.52) some ODI stats Razzak much much better left arm spinner in ODIs.