It's high time to have a strong 'A team' : Shahriar Nafees
Jannatul Naym Pieal
When the last time Australia toured Bangladesh for a Test series back in 2006, it was none other than Shahriar Nafees who caught everyone’s attention, hitting a brilliant 138-run knock – one of the best Test innings ever by a Bangladesh batsmen.
Considering the quality of today’s cricket, 138 might not sound that great to you. But one also must not forget that that was only the early stage for Bangladesh in this version of cricket and scoring some 138-run as a Bangladesh batsman against an Australia bowling attack – comprised with the likes of Brett Lee, Jason Gillespie and the great Shane Warne was definitely a big deal.
So when the nation is on the verge of witnessing another Bangladesh-Australia Test encounter in home soil, the sweet memories of that 138 naturally appears before once mind. Same does one question – where is now the man behind that 138? It’s unfortunate that Shahriar Nafees is no more a regular face of the national side. He has not retired yet but still some people term him as a ‘former’ batsman – which is nothing short of a great shame.
So now, is Shahriar Nafees really lost? No, one can’t claim so. He is still one of the elite cricketers, practicing in the conditioning camp with the national side. His recent records in the domestic circuit is also quite impressive. Among his last 10 innings in the National Cricket League (NCL), he has six 50-plus scores, three of which eventually ended in the nervous-nineties. He also has a brilliant 161-run knock that he batted against the Central Zone.
So, the opening batsman who last donned in the national jursey in 2013, still dreams of returning to the national team. But he also admits that the journey to fulfilling the dream will be very tough.
“Now the competition is harder. Our team is passing the best time of history. Everyone is within fine touch. So, it is very tough to return to such a side at the moment. I concede the reality. But I am also working hard as I know, hardworking pays back.”
Nafees also believes that apart from having a good national and U-19 side, it is high time we had a strong A team.
“We have a national side and a U-19 side. But there is nothing withing the intermediate line-up. We have at least 20 Test cricketers who can very well make to an A team. Had there been a platform for them in the form of an A team, they could have made a comeback to the national team.”