Bangladesh in Sri Lanka 2012-13 March 29, 2013

Razzak draws strength from career setbacks


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

  • KH. RAFIQUE 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>>>>

  • Dummy4 on March 31, 2013, 0:51 GMT

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

  • Dummy4 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 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.

  • Dummy4 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 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.

  • Dummy4 on March 30, 2013, 3:23 GMT

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

  • Shabbir 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!

  • Dummy4 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

  • Dummy4 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...

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