Shahriar Nafees Ahmed
May 01, 1985, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Left hand bat
Top order batter
As a left-hand opening batsman, Shahriar Nafees is a rarity among Bangladesh cricketers, and at the age of 19 he was thrust into the Test squad for their maiden tour of England with just five first-class matches behind him. He hadn't fared too badly in those, however, with 350 runs at 35, and his Under-19 coach Richard McInness reckoned he had the talent and temperament to become a future Test captain. With Nafees Iqbal and Javed Omar established as Bangladesh's opening pair, the England trip was a case of watching and learning for Shahriar. He did get an opportunity in the NatWest Series, and cashed in with 75 in the final one-dayer against Australia.
He made his Test debut in Sri Lanka in September 2005, and made 51 in his second match. He also got starts in all the one-day games, but converted only one into a fifty. Then in April 2006 he exploded in sensational fashion against the might of Australia, stroking his way to a brilliant hundred, his maiden first-class ton as well as his first in Tests, at Fatullah. His stunning 138, with 19 fours, set up a scarcely believable first-day total of 355 for 5 as the Aussies reeled. He added 33 in the second innings, and a brisk 79 in the second Test to show that this was no flash in the pan.
Nafees was appointed vice-captain for the Champions Trophy in India in October with the view of grooming a successor for Habibul Bashar. He also won the Bangladesh's cricketer-of-the-year award for 2006. He proved that the accolade wasn't wasted on him by scoring a hundred against Zimbabwe but failed against tougher opposition in the Champions Trophy. His batting was instrumental in Bangladesh's 5-0 rout over Zimbabwe in December 2006. His batting form slipped the following year and in 2008, joined the Bangladesh exodus to the ICL, He was subsequently handed a 10-year ban by the BCB but revived his international hopes when he cancelled his contract the following year. He was recalled for the tri-series at home in January 2010. Prior to joining the ICL, he opted out of a tour of Australia to concentrate on finishing his MBA program.
After being given clemency by the BCB, Nafees was picked for a Test match against India but didn't make a major contrubtion. Tamim Iqbal's injury got him back into the team for the New Zealand series in 2010 during which he struck 73 in the second game of the ODI series. He has scored fifties against Australia, Zimbabwe and West Indies too. After a lean patch, Nafees scored 97 in the second Test against Pakistan at the end of 2011, but was still not included in the central contracts for 2012.
Andrew Miller and ESPNcricinfo staff
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