Mohammad Shoriful Islam
June 03, 2001, Panchagor
Left hand bat
Left arm medium fast
At 6ft three inches, Shoriful Islam became a left-arm pace sensation almost overnight, when he starred in Bangladesh's 2020 Under-19 World Cup triumph. He took nine wickets, but it was his aggression and pace in the knockout games against South Africa, New Zealand and (in the final against) India that stood out.
They returned home in February to much adulation and many prizes, but shortly afterwards got stuck at home by the Covid-19 pandemic. In the two domestic competitions to kick off the 2020-21 season, Shoriful looked to have taken a step further, and earned a maiden call-up to the ODI side in January 2021, for the three-match series against West Indies.
It brought cheer to Nagardanga, the small village in northern Bangladesh where he was born, and from where he would cycle for half an hour to get to the closest bazaar to have electricity, so that he could watch live cricket on TV. When he saw Mustafizur Rahman bowl left-arm pace during the 2015 India series, Shoriful's dream got bigger.
The following year, he was spotted by Alamgir Kabir, a bowling coach for Clemon Rajshahi Cricket Academy, during a trial in Dinajpur. Kabir took him under his wing, and taught him how to bowl, and how to be a cricketer. Within a year, he was playing first-class cricket for Rajshahi, and by mid-2018, he would appear for Bangladesh A in two series.
Shoriful got transferred into the Under-19 programme where bowling coach Mahbub Ali Zaki built him into a fast bowler from a medium-pacer. Shoriful's World Cup-winning performance took the country by storm, with many expecting him to be in the national team soon. That expectation became reality at the turn of 2021 when he earned his first call-up in the Bangladesh side.
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