I got a lot of respect there: Mumbai Indians’ inside story in Nafees’s words
Former Bangladesh opener Nafees Iqbal worked in an uncommon role in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Nafees, elder brother of Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal, joined cricket management after his cricket career.
In IPL 2018, Mumbai Indians hired him as an interpreter for Bangladesh star pacer Mustafizur Rahman. The job of the interpreters is to convey the words of the specific player to the team management and the words of the team management to the players. But Mumbai Indians, one of the popular franchise in world cricket, kept Nafees with the team always, even in the team meetings.
In a recent show Bdcrictime live adda, Nafees shared his sweet story of IPL. “There were parties, there were different games. Team bonding sessions were held at the franchise owner’s home. Treasure hunt was played creating different groups. In my team, there were team manager of Mumbai and other 2/1 players. We were first in that game.
“There were many busy schedules. However, the team took care of the players very well. Lots of matches, here today and there tomorrow. There was immense pressure but they never let it come to the body. They managed everything very well,” the 34-year old Nafees said.
Any Bangladeshi will be happy to hear the respect that Nafees got in IPL. It’s clear from his words that he received more love than expected in Mumbai Indians. He said, “There were many Bangladeshi working there, some of them could be made the interpreter of Mustafizur. But they wanted a former Bangladesh cricketer. Mahela [Mahela Jayawardene] worked with us in the Khulna Titans in BPL [Bangladesh Premier League]. He chose me for Mumbai. I was supposed to work with Mumbai for 21 days, but they kept me with them all season. They not only thought about their interests, they also though about my interests.
“They knew I was in the management sector now. They gave me access to all their places. They also gave me the opportunity to work at team meetings or where I didn’t need to. Sometimes they gave me to opportunity to touch the ball means to work on the field. I was very honored to go there. The players, the staff and even the team owners game me a lot of respect.”
A big personality like Akash Ambani, son of Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, did not feel hesitate on showing due respect to Nafees. Sachin Tendulkar, who’s associated with Mumbai, didn’t forget him too. These things surprised as well as honored Nafees.
“I had met Sachin a few times, I had opportunity to talk. I said on the first day- you may not recognize me, I made my debut fifty in that match in which you scored the highest run. He said- yes, Nafees. I recognize you. I was very surprised. When I first talked to Akash Ambani, he told me- How’re you, Nafees? They were prepared to honor a team member by name. They could do just hi-hello. There’s different value when someone call you by name. These things were much better of them. I liked it very much. I got a lot of respect there,” Nafees concluded.