Sakib makes world take notice of his talent

Bangladesh all-rounder Sakib al Hasan celebrates the wicket of Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib during their ICC World Cup match at the Rose Bowl in Southampton on Monday. — AFP photo

Despite everything Sakib al Hasan did so far in this World Cup it remains to be seen if he can end up with the Most Valuable Player of the tournament award given Bangladesh’s semi-final chance is still only in theory.

A lot depends on the performances of other semi-final hopefuls even if Bangladesh win their next two matches against India and Pakistan.

In case of Bangladesh missing out on the coveted spot it will give the likes of David Warner, Kane Williamson or Rohit Sharma a better opportunity to take the award and not necessarily that would be unfair.

What Sakib already did in World Cup 2019, they will be judged by history, not by any award or Bangladesh’s overall result in the tournament.

Sakib finally made the cricketing world to take notice of his enormous talent and skill that was often ignored by the cricket elites, for he was representing a country they still consider as mediocre.

For any Asian cricketer, his greatness is often weighed by his performance in SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia) countries and it’s really difficult to ignore Sakib by this count.

He has six wickets in a Test innings at Centurion, the best return for any spinner in South Africa’s pace heaven, and got a Test double century in New Zealand, which till today remained as Bangladesh’s best Test innings.

Sakib was yet to play any Test in Australia but did reasonably well in World Cup 2015 to help Bangladesh qualify for the quarter-finals. In England, he played a massive innings against New Zealand during 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.

They all combined him to his ranking as World’s top all-rounder in all three formats. But ICC ranking is often deceptive, which sometimes prompted cricket’s so-called elites to rate the likes of Ben Stokes, Andre Russell as a better all-rounder.

The price and treatment that a player receives in franchise cricket could be one way to see how a modern day player is rated by others these days.

Sakib would fall way behind if he was to be judged this way as his earnings from Indian Premier League was peanuts compared to that of Stokes, who garnered over a million of dollar in each of the past three seasons.

In 2019, Sakib was given just three matches in IPL by his franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad when they played Mohammad Nabi eight matches.

After the Afghanistan game, Sakib said he did not feel he has to prove him before anyone but quietly prepared for the World Cup, the biggest stage of cricket that anyone would take a look and remember.

‘I never felt that I had a point to prove. I did everything I could do before the World Cup started for my preparation, and luckily it’s been helping me a lot,’ said Sakib.

In a tournament at the birthplace of cricket, where all the top players are involved, Sakib could hardly do any better. He is now the tournament’s leading run scorer with 476 runs and has the best bowling figure with 5-29.

‘Whatever happens for the rest of his already remarkable career, Sakib al Hasan will be able to look back on the English summer of 2019, and say to himself, ‘I nailed it’- rightly pointed  out by Andrew Miller, one of the most revered cricket writers now.

 

Source: New Age.

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