By Azad Majumder
It could not have been any better than the way the first match of the Bangladesh Cricket League first-class tournament proceeded for Bangladeshi batsmen Mominul Haque and Mosaddek Hossain this week.
Both the batsmen had been left out of Bangladesh team for the forthcoming tri-nation one-day international tournament but were believed be the key to hosts’ plan for next month’s Test series against Sri Lanka.
With the regular members of the side busy honing their skills in national team camp, Mominul and Mosaddek needed something to do on their own in the BCL – the franchise-based first-class competition played between four zones of the country.
Mominul responded with his career-best 258 runs playing for Islami Bank East Zone while Mosaddek, who was in the opposite tent, scored 110 runs – an equally impressive innings that came when his Prime Bank South Zone were under pressure to save the contest.
The double century- only second in his career – must have lifted the confidence of Mominul, who was made to feel unwanted in Test team by former coach Chandika Hathurusingha in last few series despite being one of the best batsmen of the country in the longer version.
The events that unfolded over Mominul’s inclusion in last home series against Australia should be still fresh to the memory of many Bangladeshis who were left flabbergasted by Hathurusingha’s treatment of the batsman.
Mominul did nothing extraordinary in Australia series to prove Hathurusingha wrong and was also ordinary in the next series in South Africa, where not just him but the other Bangladeshi batsmen also struggled.
He is not the kind of player who talks too much. But Mominul needed to make his bat talking and that was urgent with the next series not too far away. He could not have expected to do it in a better way than how he did it.
It was his first century in first-class cricket in almost two years which reminded his class and form, something that also reassured the selectors, who finally got some freedom in team selection after Hathurusingha’s departure.
Hathurusingha will be in the Sri Lankan dressing room during the next Test series, which can easily make Mominul nervous, considering the issues he had had with him in the past three years. But when you have run behind you it’s easy to overcome any odd and Mominul has got it in the shape of his double century in BCL.
Unlike Mominul, Mosaddek had no personal bitterness against anyone but still, he had something to prove in the tournament. He shone in his only Test match in Sri Lanka almost a year ago and did reasonably well in ODI format in ICC Champions Trophy in England.
But he missed the next two series against Australia and South Africa, respectively at home and away, due to an eye infection that took longer than usual time to be healed completely. He should have been automatically drafted into the side once he was fit, but that did not happen in Mosaddek’s case.
Selectors wanted to be sure that he can still see the ball the way he did in the past and Mosaddek had no choice but accept the challenge. He won the challenge by scoring his eighth first-class hundred, though Mosaddek was not entirely happy.
“I think in my career every run is important,” Mosaddek told the reporters after his century at the BKSP. “Yet, I will consider this century as special one… I am a bit upset because I could not finish it the way I have started. If I could do that I would have felt better,” he said.
Mosaddek was upset because his team was not still safe when he got out. But his innings at least gave his career a kind of safety that was very important for him after a break due to an unexpected illness.