Ariful Islam, first-ever Bangladesh to play in Pakistan Junior League

Ariful will play as the only Bangladeshi in the Pakistan Junior Cricket League. Gujranwala Giants recruited him from the players' draft. The team has a game on the first day of the tournament. If he gets a chance in the XI, Ariful might go down on the field that day

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Khan Mutasim Billah Life
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Last Under-19 World Cup’s one of the successful batsmen Ariful Islam got the opportunity to play as the only Bangladeshi in the Pakistan Junior League. Earlier this year, he came to everyone's attention with his excellent performance in the U-19 World Cup. For that reason, he got a call to the foreign league as well.
Ariful will play as the only Bangladeshi in the Pakistan Junior Cricket League. Gujranwala Giants recruited him from the players' draft. The team has a game on the first day of the tournament. If he gets a chance in the XI, Ariful might go down on the field that day. He will also get Shoaib Malik there as a mentor for the team. All in all, a dream journey ahead is waiting for Ariful. And he is looking forward to make that dream journey colorful.
In an interview with BDCricTime, Ariful said, “Actually, this is a franchise league, a good big tournament. This is the first edition. I got the chance to play there alone from Bangladesh. Of course, I feel good, Alhamdulillah. I have been trying ever since to prepare myself in such a way that I can perform wherever I go. Franchise leagues are huge tournaments. If I perform in these, there will be a lot of focus on me in BCB and it will be very good for me in the future, hopefully.”
Ariful's goal is to quickly adapt to the environment and the wicket there. He added, "I am going to Pakistan now. So I would like to prepare myself by adapting to these things, how are the wickets, how are the bowlers, how everything is done, so that I can do something good for the country hopefully.”
Apart from this, this rising star is very satisfied with his batting practice and progress. “I’m in a good rhythm. Currently practicing with the machine. I want to practice T20 because there will be T20 matches. I want to bring a rhythm in me to match myself at any time by going there (Pakistan)," he further said.
He also asked for prayers from the country people to do well in the upcoming league, "Of course, if my country supports me, if the whole country is with me, then my confidence will be different. I will ask a lot of prayers from the country people and I myself would like that I can do something for the country people, hopefully.”
Despite being champions in the 2020 U-19 World Cup, Bangladesh could not do much better in the next edition, i.e. the 2022 tournament. Although the team's success was less, Ariful's batting and pacer Ripon Mondol's bowling were eye-catching. Ariful is also in the team for the upcoming U-19 World Cup.
He also talked about his thoughts, preparations, and hopes for the World Cup. “I always try that I can do something big. Last time I scored 2 centuries, this time I will aim to score 3-4 or 5 centuries. My aim will be big, so that I can prepare well for the national team. May I represent the country for many years hopefully. That's how I prepare myself. That's how my practices are. I understand what I need to do. I’m working with foreign coaches gradually, will do more in the future. I will work on the mistakes, the rest is in Allah, then let's see how far I can go,” he concluded.
Ariful's team Gujranwala Giants will take on Mardan Warriors on the first day of the tournament on October 6. The match will start at 8:30 pm Bangladesh time at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.