Happy endings don’t exist. You will now think what a life quote is doing in a cricket article. For cricketers, life means Cricket, life means to play for the national team for a long time.
Shahriar Nafees, a left handed batsman who made his ODI debut in 2005 against England and then in the same year made his Test debut against Sri Lanka. He scored his maiden ODI hundred against Zimbabwe in 2006. He was also the first Bangladeshi to score hundred in Champions trophy history and held the record for the highest individual score until Tamim Iqbal surpassed him in 2017.
Shahriar Nafees finished 2006 with 1,000 ODI runs, becoming the first Bangladeshi to reach the milestone in a calendar year. Adding one more achievement to that, he was also the first T20I captain of Bangladesh. In 2008, his career took a shaky step when he joined ICL as part of the Dhaka Warriors. The members of the team were given 10 year ban by BCB but that was lifted after they had left the league. Nafees returned to the national team then, but his form somehow didn’t return. His ups & downs started and then he was in the situation of in and out. The last time Nafees played in both ODI & Test was in 2011. Six years gone, still he couldn’t make his way back to the national team and it doesn’t even look possible anymore as he’s age is already 32.
The main talking point is if we look back to the last 6 years, didn’t Shahriar Nafees deserve to get some more chances? Well, his consistent performances in the domestic arena in the last couple of years certainly says he deserved more chances. He ended the last BPL with 292 runs in 12 matches and scored 5 fifties. But still he didn’t earn any call up after the tournament. It looks harsh when in the last one & a half year, no opener has been consistent except Tamim Iqbal for the Bangladesh team. Soumya Sarkar is in disastrous form and Imrul Kayes has improved a lot but still inconsistent. If Soumya Sarkar fails to perform in the upcoming Test series against Australia, then the selectors & the coach has a lot to answer about. Ignoring an experienced in form batsman and giving chances after chances to Soumya Sarkar in every format of the game doesn’t look a sign of bravery.
The fans certainly miss Shahriar Nafees, his cover drives, breathtaking sweep shots, beautiful defence and what not. The only place where they were able to see him recently is in the ICC Champions trophy 2017 poster and the most common scene before the every series is now Shahriar Nafees being left out of the squad. The look of the faces of Nafees & his fans must be same at the moment, disappointing and painful.