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“Mominul is our cricket’s fresh flavour with plenty of promises. He has the dash and flair to enrich our cricket. He is a talent, bustling with energy and determined to carry on our cricket a long way. Mominul is nothing but a pocket-sized dynamo – bold and impressive,” Writes Faisal Caesar 

Well, what a day it had been for the Bangladesh cricket team! Under the bright sunshine at Galle, against a very decent Sri Lankan attack, the Bangladeshi batsmen dominated in such a commanding manner that it had left its harshest critic speechless. At Galle, since the first ball was bowled, it has been an exhibition of scoring tons. Surely, a grand sale of hundreds was going on and nothing surprising, against a mediocre Bangladeshi attack, the Lankan batsmen were reaching tons in a merry.

Against Sri Lanka’s massive first innings total and with Herath in sublime form, it was least expected that our batsmen would be able to join Galle’s century-scoring exhibition. But the Tigers did join the exhibition by denting the Lankan attack. The nation, depressed with unnecessary political turmoils, were able to smile and celebrate as they rediscovered their lost hero Mohammad Ashraful in such a supreme touch that it has left us all rethinking about this man’s talent and abilities.

With Ashraful, Mushfiq too enjoyed an awesome day of Test cricket with the willow as he notched up a Test ton to his name. Their stand of 261 is the highest partnership for Bangladesh in their 13-year old Test history. Galle is traditionally Sri Lanka’s most favourite ground as they’re used to crush their oppositions here. But Ashraful and Mushfiq were unfazed by such records and made the third day of the most historic days in the history of Bangladesh cricket.

Bangladeshi cricket pundits are all expressing their various views on Ashraful and Mushfiq’s masterful batting display. In between Ashraful’s class act and Mushfiq’s gritty batting, my eyes were enlightened and amazed to see a baby-faced boy hailing from Bangladesh’s coastal region, Cox’s Bazar. He was selected as a replacement of Shakib Al Hasan and took on the responsibility of the fragile Bangladeshi middle-order. To many, it was too much to ask from a 21-year old prodigy and personally, when I discovered him coming into bat at number four position, I was quite anguished.

But when the little boy started to bat, my heated temper had started to cool down and I just couldn’t keep my focus away from the little boy’s courage and manner of stroke play. His first boundary came against Eranga with a cut behind backward point and since then his bat scripted eight more flashy boundaries which were a mixture of concrete technique, fluid wrists, astute footwork and lack of fear. He didn’t dare to skip down the wicket against the teasing Herath nor did he dare to slice the Lankan pacers. His maiden Test fifty came up against a Kulasekara fullish delivery which was punched over the non-striker’s end with a straight bat towards the boundary with a rare disdain. His entertaining chicky knock didn’t last long but as a matter of fact that 55-run has blessed Bangladesh with a momentum that has been well maintained by Ashraful and Mushfiq.

Mominul made his first-class debut in 2008-09 after being nurtured well at BKSP. In 2010, he featured in Bangladesh Under 19 squad and the following year, National Cricket Academy called him as their 2011 graduate and he continued to fare well in the domestic circuit as a middle-order batsman. His occasional left-arm orthodox spin too was critical. He was called to tour the West Indies with the Bangladesh ‘A’ side and blazed with a 150 in the opening match of the tour.

Despite his consistent performance in the domestic circuit, he failed to earn the national selectors’ attention. A back to back first-class hundreds earned him a place in the national squad as a replacement of Shakib for the first two ODIs against West Indies in 2012. He was impressive if not instrumental. Had Shakib been there Mominul would not have been featuring this time around. But destiny wanted to gift Bangladesh something special, destiny wished Mominul to exhibit his exuberance of youth.

You are busy with Ashraful and Mushfiq but my heart has been touched by this little boy Mominul Haque’s talent. He brings in the flavor of a Bangladeshi village kid – full of enthusiasm. Mominul is our cricket’s fresh flavour with plenty of promises. He has the dash and flair to enrich our cricket. He is a talent, bustling with energy and determined to carry on our cricket a long way. Mominul is nothing but a pocket-sized dynamo – bold and impressive.

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