Australian left arm spinner Steve O’keefe has been called in the side for the 2nd Test against Bangladesh as a replacement for the injured Josh Hazlewood. This is the 1st time O’keefe is touring Bangladesh with the national side, however over-all this is not his 1st visit to the country. His last visit to Bangladesh was way back in the 2004 Under-19 World cup. In that tournament Bangladesh beat Australia in the plate final by 8 runs. And a young Bangladeshi batsman paved the way for that victory. He was none other than Aftab Ahmed. Al though many have forgotten about this aggressive and immensely talented Bangladeshi batsman, O’keefe still remembers him.
The Aussie spinner is now with the side in Chittagong. Yesterday he came to the ground and inspected the pitch with head coach Darren Lehmann. While leaving the ground, O’keefe chatted with a few Bangladeshi reporters, where he revealed that it’s not his 1st visit to Bangladesh. He stills remembers the loss to Bangladesh and Aftab’s heroics in that match. O’keefe said,“I got one wicket and 65 runs in that match. But still we couldn’t win. Aftab batted really well. I remember it was a really good match.”
Aftab scored 57 from 70 deliveries in that match and played a crucial role in the victory. Aftab then repeated the heroics for the national side, hitting that famous six in the last over of Jason Gillespie, to help Bangladesh register their 1st victory over the mighty Australia in 2005.
Once a regular member of the Bangladeshi middle order, Aftab has now retired from the game and is working as a cricket coach. He is coaching in his own academy in Chittagong.
Joining the Indian Cricket League(ICL) while being in his prime was probably his career’s biggest mistake. After returning from there, he was never able to replicate his past performances. He has featured in 16 Tests, 85 ODIs and 11 T20Is for Bangladesh. Aftab will always be remembered as a batsman who failed to live up to his own potential.