December 02, 1986
Right hand bat
Right arm fast medium
Ziaur Rahman transformed himself from a useful pace bowler to a batsman who was considered good enough for international cricket. The change happened five years into his first-class career, when a knee injury forced Ziaur into reshaping his career, though he still bowls decent medium pace from a shortened run-up.
Born in Bedbunia village in Khulna Division, Ziaur's career began in the local leagues in his region. He soon made it to Dhaka where he played for a few years as a pace bowler before breaking into Bangladesh Under-19 team, and then the Khulna divisional team in the National Cricket League.
Even in his early days, batting aggressively came naturally to him. But it was always on the backburner, something of shock value rather than regularly useful in the lower-order. In his debut season, Ziaur picked up 18 wickets before bagging a haul of 30 in the 2005-06. His performance for Khulna and in the Dhaka Premier League over the next two years was noticed, and he was one of those touring in Bangladesh's team for the 2007 World Twenty20. He didn't get a game but continued to do well back home when he took 38 wickets in the 2008-09 season.
At that point, he suffered the injury to his right knee which required surgery as well as a long rest. The changes in his physicality meant that bowling fast was out of the question. His cricket career was on the line, but he got a second chance, as a batsman in the Dhaka league.
Ziaur the batsman took his time, playing out two ordinary seasons before batting well enough for Old DOHS in the Dhaka Premier League and for Chittagong Kings in the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20s to earn a place in the senior Twenty20 team.
He made his international Twenty20 debut against Ireland in the summer of 2012, though he needed time in the middle to consolidate his position.
In limited-overs cricket, he is useful in the top order when teams are eager to take advantage of the Powerplay overs. In first-class cricket, Ziaur is handy against the old ball and sometimes against the second new ball. His maiden first-class century came against Central Zone in the Bangladesh Cricket League. It was a scintillating innings which contained 15 sixes, as he made 152 off just 143 balls.
That earned him an ODI debut against Sri Lanka in March 2013 and a month later, he was the 68th Bangladeshi to play Tests when he was picked for the second match against Zimbabwe.
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