August 05, 1991, Barisal
Right hand bat
Right arm offbreak
An offspinner in Bangladesh cricket is a rarity, but a cricketer turning up from Patuakhali, one of the southernmost districts of Barisal, has made a mark with that brand of bowling. Sohag Gazi is the rare specialist offspinner who grew up right by the Bay of Bengal, and has travelled the length and breadth of the country to be recognised as one of the promising slow bowlers in Bangladesh. His run-up is short, even by spinners' standards, but his bowling action itself is a whir, followed by a tight follow-through.
Born in neighboring Khulna where his dad was posted, Sohag was also first introduced to the game in the southeastern town. He played till his mid-teens in Khulna, before shuttling along the south, playing in the various leagues in Khulna and neighboring Barisal Division. He first made a name for himself in the first division Cricket League, the second tier of the capital's league structure, for Orient Sporting Club, and made his first-class debut in the 2009-10 season, starting off with a five-wicket haul against Chittagong Division. The following season he was the highest wicket-taker in the National Cricket League, taking 41 wickets.
The call-up to the National Cricket Academy and the Bangladesh A team followed. He did well in the West Indies for the A team and against other second-string sides but he faced a few dark months in 2012 when an umpire at the Shafi Darashah tournament in Bangalore reported him for a kink in his elbow while bowling the quicker delivery. He went through the usual checks before being given the green signal to play first-class cricket in the 2012-13 season, one which he started off with nine wickets. A seven-wicket haul in the second innings included a hattrick, and spectacularly, Sohag slammed a hundred in the same game, becoming only the thirteenth cricketer of all time to score a century and take a hattrick in a first-class match.
He was soon picked up for the Bangladesh team for the first Test against West Indies in November 2012.
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