February 08, 1976, Rajshahi
Also Known As
Right hand bat
Khaled Mashud was Bangladesh's second Test captain and the best wicketkeeper in its first decade as an Elite cricket-playing nation. But Bangladesh's sporting fraternity will remember him as a pioneer, who showed the way with his hard-working approach. Putting in the long hours in training took Mashud, also known as 'Pilot', to great heights, including being the first name in the Bangladesh team sheet for more than a decade. He was a dependable No.7 batsman too, and was the last-man standing in many a lost battle, nudging and nurdling singles in his bid to keep the tail wagging.
But it was a slogged six over long-on in the 1997 ICC Trophy final against Kenya that brought him into the national consciousness. He had made his international debut two years before, when he was the most disciplined cricketer in the country, having come from Rajshahi, the northern headquarter. Son of former national footballer Shamsul Islam Mollah, Mashud was a regular in age-level before he was fast-tracked after tidy performances behind the wicket for the Dhaka giants Mohammedan Sporting Club and Abahani.
His ICC Trophy exploits cemented him a place in the national team, but he wasn't making the runs despite providing the steadiness as a wicketkeeper. He was probably waiting for Bangladesh to begin playing Test cricket to fulfill his batting credentials, as the longer game suited him. He struck fifties against New Zealand, England and Zimbabwe, but the innings that typified his contribution was the three-hour-long 33 he made in East London in 2002 in Bangladesh's first Test on South African soil. He negotiated the likes of Makhaya Ntini and Nantie Hayward with guts, even as most of the others struggled. His only Test hundred, against West Indies in the drawn game at Gros Islet, was also to ensure Bangladesh safety in what was also his longest stay at the crease - five-and-a-half hours.
The only criticism of Mashud was his stint as captain. The 12 straight Test defeats wasn't his fault, but one of his low points was leading Bangladesh in the 2003 World Cup debacle, particularly the defeat against Canada the day before Eid ul Fitr. He is alleged to have spent the night away from the hotel, and the BCB put up an inquiry committee after the team returned, with Mashud being dropped for two Tests against South Africa right after the World Cup.
Once Khaled Mahmud took over as captain, Mashud concentrated on his game and developing the Rajshahi divisional cricket team in the domestic first-class competition. He was successful in reviving his native division's cricketing fortunes, helping create a core group of cricketers, some of whom would go on to play for Bangladesh.
He made his best ODI score against Australia, some calling it his best innings ever, but the emergence of Mushfiqur Rahim, a more talented batsman (albeit an inferior wicketkeeper) pushed him out of the 2007 World Cup squad, a selection decision criticised by the media and fans. But once Mushfiqur had made that crucial half-century in the win against India, the writing was on the wall and Mashud retired from international cricket after a year.
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