Like a matured professional, the 24-year old could understand the life of celebrities are built on the slippery slopes, one day the followers ascend you to cloud nine while on the other throw you to the nadir with disdain
Najmul, however, is not the first one to face the tirades and definitely not the last one but the tables turned for him. When his name was chanted from every corner of the stadium as well as the social media thanks to his heroics with the bat, the saga repeats the story of human being from time immemorial and reminds us some vital lessons.
Najmul scored two half centuries, his first in ODIs against England but he became the darling of the crowd from a longtime ‘Lord’, a derogatory term to describe incapable players, when he scored 51, 46 not out and unbeaten 47 in three T20s that was instrumental of Bangladesh making a clean sweep against T20 World Champions England.
Not only the runs, Najmul was always under scanner for his slow approach but his strike rate of over 170 and in the first match proved his worth. He played crucial role in the slow, low pitch in the second match to guide the successful run chase and kept a strike rate of over 130 in the last one when his partner Litton Das was blazing. All on a sudden, the hated, trolled player proved he is not only capable but also have the ambidexterity of adapting to the situation and emerge as match winner.
The story is vital however, beyond the boundary like most other sporting tales. In Bangladesh, celebrities often fail to keep their nerve against public mocking and crumble. On many occasions it was seen the more experienced and successful players reacted to media comments. Najmul must be praised for not publicly showing dissent over the issue.
Like a matured professional, the 24-year old could understand the life of celebrities are built on the slippery slopes, one day the followers ascend you to cloud nine while on the other throw you to the nadir with disdain.
And like everything else in life the prize of enjoying the pedigree of a celebrity comes with the risk of being ridiculed.
On many occasions people argued they are also human being and they should not be mocked. Notwithstanding the fact transgressing private life is a crime the celebrities are entitled to be mocked. And the fact is not only philosophical but also established through law. Thanks to the famous case of People vs Larry Flynt of USA, the precedent is set that the public has right to mock and criticise celebrities. Bangladesh, as covenant of global human charter and laws also accept this precedence and legal guidance.
So Najmul, unlike many other star cricketers, who often lost tempers, proved his maturity and showed he has the mettle of overcoming difficult situation. On many occasions we have seen Bangladeshi players crumble under pressure and lose intense games. One may wonder being mentally brittle is an issue and obviously handling public life properly improves that side.
Najmul in that sense has created a good example for others. He will almost certainly fail in future and he has to show the same nonchalance by getting the life lesson.
There is another protagonist in Najmul Story- Bangladesh Cricket Board. The BCB faces all sorts of criticisms and mostly for justified reasons, but for keeping the faith of a talent and getting reward is praiseworthy.
For Najmul’s credit, he strengthened his claim through a consistent performance in Bangladesh Premier League but the BCB should also get praises as they gave chances to performers in the domestic tournament and followed the process.
Rony Talukdar, the 32-year old got his chance again thanks to strong BPL show and BCB did well of breaking their taboo of giving chances to aged and once discarded players. The management also did well giving chances not only to Najmul but also young guns like Hasan Mahmud and BPL star Towhid Hridoy who shone brightly.
One may remember the Indian Cricket League and how it impacted Bangladesh cricket. Many erstwhile established Bangladesh players joined the league and faced ban with the pressure from Indian Cricket Board (BCCI).
The BCB had to give chances to junior players and with the windfall the latter got time and space to settle themselves in the international arena. Consequently, Bangladesh got their best ever players and started winning international matches regularly.
The shake of ICL may be regarded as blessing in disguise but one cannot wait for that and BCB should follow the process of giving chances to potential young players enough to thrive. Najmul reminded the big lesson that the management must be audacious enough not to select players by virtue of big name but according to performance and potential to serve future.
Najmul may fail in future and will obviously be mocked again but his story teaches us that rather than blaming the passionate fans, who are the strongest point of country’s cricket, the mature attitude from players and board is the right way to keep the progress of country’s cricket.