Hardwork always does pay off. For some, it does within time. For a handful others, it takes longer than normal. But the bottom line is, fortune never keeps the hardworkers unsatisfied forever. That’s the case for Fazle Rabbi as well.
After being a regular face within Bangladesh’s domestic circuit for the last 14 years, finally Rabbi’s time has arrived, as he got a maiden national call-up in Bangladesh’s 15-man squad for the upcoming Zimbabwe home series.
When the good news reached him, he was sitting in the Mawa ghat, as he was returning to his home town Barishal after the recently concluded second round match of the National Cricket League (NCL). So naturally his excitement of going back to his mother doubled up with the news of national call-up.
“It seems like I am going to back to my mother’s lap ahead of the festivity of Eid. I never went back home with so much happiness in mind. I was returning, and just in the midway did I get such a big news. I am feeling so well. I want everyone to keep me in your prayers,” said Rabbi in his instant reaction.
Rabbi is already 30 years old. Generally Bangladeshi cricketers don’t get chance to represent their country for the first time at such age. So, with the passage of every bygone years, Rabbi’s dream to play for his country was also fading away. But a bit of the hope was revived after getting selected in the Bangladesh A side to play against Sri Lanka A [in July].
But still, the national call-up remains a big surprise for him, just like it is to everyone else concerned. “Big surprise, to be honest I had reached a stage where I was losing hope of a call-up,” Rabbi said.
So what made the selectors take Rabbi seriously after such a long time? The answer lies in the newcomer’s consistent performances in the domestic side and recently, the A team.
“I could have scored more in domestic cricket, but only recently did I realise that I need to be fitter. Whether it is in the national team or in the domestic circuit, cricket is the only thing I can do in life; it is all I have.”
Rabbi missed a double hundred for just 5 runs in the first round of the NCL last week against Rangpur. In August, he got two fities while playing unofficial one-dayers for Bangladesh A side in the Ireland tour. His strike rate throughout the tour was top notch, reading an impressive 115.25.
The biggest virtue of the stylish left-hand top-order batsman is he is capable of keeping the scoreboard moving forward as long as he is in the crease. So it’s quite understandable why he ideolizes Tamim Iqbal as his favourite batsman.
But the thing is, Rabbi is not being considered as a potential replacement for Tamim. Rather he could be played at number three position in absence of Shakib Al Hasan. But in Rabbi’s mind, replacing Shakib is also not a suitable idea at all. All he wants is to cement his place in the side.
“It’s impossible to get a replacement for Shakib bhai. He is not only the best all-rounder of the country, but he is it of the whole world. My effort will only be on earning my place for a long time.”