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Shakib Al Hassan: A Nation’s Hope

By Shofi Ahmed:

Snapping up the top flight demands to fork out a big buck. Give more to get more when that’s the norm Shakib Al Hassan, the Bangladeshi cricket ace is big indeed. He is on top of the tree the top all-rounder in the world. And the dowry he has to give for this is nothing less than showcasing the world some amazing cricket fairy tales.

The ongoing Cricket World Cup 2019, played in Britain, so far has seen the best of Shakib. Once more he has proven that he is equally at par at both on the ball and the bat. To throw his best punch however, he can utilise both and go beyond to connect the dots. It’s well noted on mainstream media as The Guardian puts: “There are few cricketers in the world who have so many strings to their bow as Shakib. He is a top-order batsman who can score quickly as well as stabilise an innings. He bowls accurate left‑arm spin with a specialty arm ball, and is capable of leading a bowling attack in any format. He is an athletic presence in and out of the circle, with a strong arm from the deep and assurance as a fielder.”

Given that he is still romping on his world cup pre-wining chapter but has seen colours of his runaway success. Many mimic Shakib as he leads by example. And created an inspiring blueprint for many cricketers in the country aspiring to be him. It’s obvious for them to believe that taking a cue from him they too can mesmerize the world.

With Shakib, we are more hopeful to see Bangladesh is going to the next level. The nation’s eyes are on him. Well, he did look after. He netted the eyeballs of the top flight audiences across the cricket world and surging to dizzying heights on social media. In India Shakib has been dubbed in tweets ‘hero number one’. Frankly speaking its a well deserving yes nod achieved on the very soil of an arch competitor.

So as we surf along the trail, what’s more, can we see in the deep wonder bag of this talismanic cricketer? Can we really find an oasis in the opulence for the hardworking Bangladesh cricket team that’s nothing less than the world cup?

That’s of course down to the teamwork. Settling the score that we would like to be the world cup. But first, of course, rising and sitting on the mighty top four table, for the widely praised Bangladeshi team doesn’t rest on Shakib alone. Nonetheless, Mashrafe Mortaza the group captain is very optimistic. He reckons, while there are plenty of rooms they can improve on Sakib is dishing out everything at his disposal to take them on to the next level.

Shakib too is very positive on his team’s contributions too. His team-mates have taken inspiration from him and slowly progressing to produce his level of performance. “We don’t have a large [player] pipeline in Bangladesh, so we have to stick to those who can contribute to the team. I think that’s the right way to do it. We’re a very young side, so we’re bound to make mistakes. The main thing is to work hard and to improve.” Said Shakib.

His remarks on teammates like Tamim Iqbal who improved most, Imrul Kayes and Shafiul Islam are high.  He added: “All the guys who have played for the last two to three years have played well. They’ve contributed, and the main thing is, they’re always working on their game.”

Shakib’s logic is quite clear and simple to get a grip on. He doesn’t prefer to be ultra ongoing for gold. He would rather opt for an inch by inch approach. Like he says: “I don’t like to set big goals for myself. I like to set small goals, series by series. There are some areas I can always improve.” The all-rounder went on emphasising on mental preparation “Mindset is very important. When your fitness is good it helps you a lot. But ultimately mental strength or how strong you can be (the difference) in tough situations and your bravery. I think these things help in you both in batting and bowling,”

There are a lot more we can pen on the Tigers specifically on Shakib. If we are, however, after a succinct brief. That would be mimicking Shakib is an obvious choice for the aspiring Bangladeshi cricketers. But keep that in mind it’s not only the skill set and talents of a role model are instrumental look at the principles, personality and attitude. Failure to picking it could mean leaving the magic wand on the table.

For Shakib, he is also the most financially successful cricketer in Bangladesh. But with his outstanding ability to compartmentalise he doesn’t let his commercial success encroach upon his cricket track. Where we all want him to roll with the punches until raising the world cup!