Abdur Razzak has climbed to a new height among Bangladeshi cricketers by becoming the first bowler to reach 600 first-class wickets. Razzak, the veteran left-arm spinner, completed the milestone during Khulna Division's NCL matchat the Shere Bangla National Stadium.
Razzak began the match on 594 wickets, and swept past the milestone while bagging figures of 7 for 69 in Rangpur's first innings. Six of Razzak's wickets came in an unbroken spell of 18.1 overs, during the course of which Rangpur collapsed from 139 for 3 to 224 all out. The 600th wicket was that of Robiul Haque, the No. 9 batsman out bowled.
Razzak, who had reached the landmark of 500 first-class wickets in January 2018, said the new milestone delighted him, and reckoned it would take a while before another Bangladeshi bowler reaches it.
"I am happy with my achievement," Razzak said. "Six hundred wickets is not a matter of joke. It is a big number in our context. There have been bigger milestones reached in other countries but nobody has done it here, and [the next bowler] will probably take time to reach this number.
"I have never imagined reaching this stage of 500 or 600 wickets. It is a big thing in a Bangladeshi context. We don't have a lot of people with 200 or 300 wickets. I am sure someone will go past me but I am glad that I am the first one."
The milestone is also a tribute to Razzak's fitness, particularly after the BCB called for higher fitness levels shortly before the 2019-20 season began in October. It had put the spotlight on Razzak and other senior players, but he managed to pull through.
The seven-wicket haul has put Razzak on top of the NCL's wicket charts for the season.
"I am fortunate these records are coming from me," Razzak said. "Someone would have achieved them. You need skills to reach this level and I don't know if I am that skillful. I try hard. I think not giving up is my skill. I am still passionate about playing when I am out in the middle. I can't think of anything else."
Razzak's first-class performances over the previous five years earned him a Test recall last year, after four years out of the side, but despite his performance against Sri Lanka in Dhaka - he took five wickets, including a first-innings four-for - he wasn't retained in the side for their next series. Still, he says, the fire continues to burn within.
"I can't really say where I see myself, or where I can reach," Razzak said. "I also don't know when I will finish. As long as my fitness and desire is there, I will keep playing."