Every sport is ripe with such stories and cricket is no different. Bangladesh Cricket has also seen a few comeback stories, albeit not as many as other cricketing nations.
Pacer Taskin Ahmed and opener Liton Das are the two biggest comeback stories in the country’s cricket in the recent past. Both were dropped from the national team at one point in their careers after a string of poor performances. But through sheer determination, they have saved their international careers from the clutches of obscurity and are now indispensable figures in the Bangladesh team.
The ninth edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), with all its flaws and shortcomings, has been the stage for one such comeback story of a Bangladeshi player. His name – Nasir Hossain.
The redemption of Nasir Hossain
Many eyebrows were raised when Nasir was named the captain of the Dhaka Dominators for BPL 2023.
The all-rounder was returning to the tournament after a year’s gap as he couldn’t take part in BPL 2022 owing to an injury. Still, the Dominators entrusted him with the captaincy duty.
To be fair to Dhaka, they also didn’t have many captaincy options at their disposal after poor selections at the players’ draft and no notable direct signings.
Under Nasir’s leadership, Dhaka has been struggling in the tournament, winning just two out of their eight matches. However, as a player, Nasir is having a stellar BPL.
Nasir is the second both in the highest run-getters list and the wicket-takers list.
With the bat, Nasir has scored 291 runs with two half-centuries in eight innings and is trailing Fortune Barishal captain Shakib Al Hasan by 13 runs. Nasir’s strike rate is a shade below 126 and he averages 58.20.
Nasir has also impressed with his off-spin bowling, claiming 11 wickets, one less than Khulna Tigers’ Pakistani pacer Wahab Riaz. Nasir has conceded a little over seven runs per over and claimed a wicket in every two overs he has bowled.
What makes Nasir’s performance even more impressive is the fact that he is playing for arguably the weakest team in the league.
In a team of underperformers, Nasir has been a bright star with the bat and ball. He has often been the only batter to show some fight and the bowler who picked wickets in crucial situations.
Nasir has been a standout performer so far in BPL. Still, a return to the national team seems far away.
The national team still looks distant
Nasir has not been in the national team since January 2018.
The all-rounder made his international debut way back in 2011. He played regularly in the shorter formats till 2014 before losing his place owing to a lean patch.
Nasir still remained in the national team’s periphery for a few years, playing a few matches for the Tigers here and there, but could never seal a permanent spot in the team.
The national team’s door has remained shut for him for almost five years. During this period, Nasir has made headlines mostly for non-cricketing reasons.
Now, at 31 years of age, Nasir’s chances of making a return to the national team are extremely slim.
Historically, Bangladesh has a culture of dumping cricketers out of the national team once they cross the 30-year threshold.
So for Nasir, the odds are not looking great.
However, just because it hasn’t happened before doesn’t mean it can’t happen in the future.
For all we know, BPL9 could be the midpoint of Nasir’s comeback story, the part where he keeps making runs and taking wickets wherever he plays and forces the national team selectors to consider him for the Bangladesh team.
Or, this could be another false dawn in Nasir’s career and very soon the all-rounder will lose his way and accept his fate as yet another gifted Bangladeshi cricketer who couldn’t do justice to his talent.