September 06, 1995, Satkhira
Left hand bat
Left arm fast medium
Mustafizur Rahman is a left-arm pace bowler who came to Dhaka to try out for a fast-bowling camp in 2012, after he had impressed in an Under-17 tournament in Satkhira, some 300km from Dhaka. He got admitted to the BCB's pace foundation and soon caught the coaches' attention to make the Bangladesh Under-19 side for the 2014 World Cup.
He made his first-class debut for Khulna in the 2013-14 season and, after taking eight wickets in the U-19 World Cup in the UAE, he was surprisingly picked for Bangladesh A's tour of West Indies. Returning from that short trip, he was viewed as a better bowler and slowly picked up more variations. He initially lacked pace but built it up through the 2014-15 first-class season, when he took 26 wickets at an average of 19.08.
This was when Mustafizur started to develop the left-armer's offcutter, which was delivered as a spinner does but with the added ability of making it carry to the wicketkeeper standing back. The story of Anamul Haque's dare that got him to bowl the delivery will go into Bangladeshi cricket folklore, as will the early support he received from Mashrafe Mortaza, who spotted him randomly in the Mirpur nets.
Soon enough, the Bangladesh selectors picked Mustafizur for the one-off T20I against Pakistan and then, midway through 2015, for the ODI series against India when he became only the second bowler after Brian Vitori to take five-wicket hauls in his first two ODIs, paving the way for Bangladesh's first-ever ODI series win over India.
He was excellent in bilateral series against South Africa - which included a Test debut - and Zimbabwe, while also doing well in his first BPL campaign. Mustafizur's first foray on to the world stage was through the IPL auction, when he was picked Sunrisers Hyderabad in early 2016, followed by confirmation of a contract with Sussex for English domestic limited-overs cricket. He ensured none of his new paymasters doubted their call as he emerged as one of the best bowlers in the World T20, signing off with a five-wicket haul against New Zealand, bamboozling them with his variation of cutters.
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