Nearly half a decade since arriving at the international arena, Nurul is now a regular squad member for Bangladesh in all formats.
He is yet to become a bona fide starter for the national team in every game, but is now spending less time warming the benches and more time representing Bangladesh on a cricket field.
But on Friday, the biggest moment of the 28-year-old’s cricket career took place.
Bangladesh are set to tour Zimbabwe to play three One-Day Internationals (ODI) and three Twenty20 Internationals against the hosts. The selectors named a 16-man ODI and 15-man T20I squad for the tour on Friday.
Nurul was named in both squads, as expected. But what was not expected was him being named as the captain of the T20I team.
T20I captain Mahmudullah has been rested for the T20I series and in his place Nurul will lead the Tigers in the series, starting in Harare on 30 July.
Mahmudullah losing captaincy is hardly a surprise as the team has won just one game in the last 13 matches under his captaincy.
The real question was who will replace Mahmudullah. The obvious candidate was Shakib Al Hasan.
Shakib has been recently reinstated as the Test skipper, replacing Mominul Haque, and is the favourite to once again lead Bangladesh in the shortest format of the game.
But Shakib had already opted out of the Zimbabwe tour, citing personal reasons.
According to multiple reports, Mahmudullah was expected to continue as skipper in the Zimbabwe tour and then Shakib would take over during the Asia Cup in September.
But Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) didn’t wait till the Asia Cup. They took an uncharacteristically bold decision and removed Mahmudullah from captaincy before the Zimbabwe series.
With Shakib unavailable, Tamim Iqbal already retired from the format and Mushfiqur Rahim also rested for the T20I series, none of the senior statesmen of the Bangladesh team were available to take up the captaincy mantle.
The management could’ve handed the captaincy to Liton Das, who has led Bangladesh in one T20I before, but perhaps they didn’t want to burden their most in form batsman with extra responsibility.
Out of the remaining players, the management could’ve chosen Mehidy Hasan Miraz, a former captain of the Bangladesh Under-19 team. But the fact that he is not considered a regular member of the T20I team worked against him.
So, the selectors finally decided to settle on Nurul Hasan. Nurul has captaincy experience, leading Dhaka Premier League (DPL) side Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club in 49 matches. He is also one of the more vocal members of the team at the middle.
But that doesn’t make Nurul’s ascendency to captaincy any less surprising.
Nurul’s wasn’t even in contention for the role a few days back and now he is set to lead the team in about a week’s time. Nurul should consider himself lucky!
But there is another way to look at it. After having such a stop and start international career for no real fault of his own, waiting at the wings for years while Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das played as the keeper-batter, getting dropped even after promising showings, Nurul perhaps deserved the rub of the green.
At last, for once in Nurul’s career, he is at ‘The right place at the right time’.