Including Ebadot Hossain in the Test squad is a good decision…….

First thing first! I was pretty delighted to know that, gradually Taskin Ahmed is rediscovering his mojo. I cannot but deny, Taskin Ahmed is a very good bowler and even though, he lost his way a bit in the last couple of years, but still, considering his talent, one cannot deny him easily. He went through bad-patches and career-threatening injuries.  But like any other passionate cricketer, he worked hard to come back into the side.  He was included in the Bangladesh squad to New Zealand, but sadly, yet another injury dented his return.

The exclusion of Taskin Ahmed proved to be a golden opportunity for another promising youngster, Ebadot Hossain. The youngster just needed a slice of luck to represent Bangladesh in international cricket. He would replace Taskin in the Test squad.

Even six years ago, cricket was not even in Ebadot’s mind. He joined Bangladesh Air Force as a Volleyball player in 2012. More than a sportsman, the job security mattered more for Ebadot. The concentration was on volleyball, but it was also the time, when Bangladesh cricket was on the rise. At the international level, the once bashing-boys of world cricket, have started to create an impact against the Big Boys of World Cricket. So, naturally, cricket would attract any youngster during that time and Ebadot also relished the dream of becoming a cricketer.

In fact, before joining Bangladesh Air Force, Ebadot was famous for bowling fast in Moulavi Bazar’s Borolikha village. He was hired by various local teams to play for them and his ferocity was praised by all. He was a raw fast bowler and pace excited him.

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Volleyball cut short his time to concentrate on cricket, but Rabi’s pacer hunt program in 2016 gave him the opportunity to try his luck in cricket. Even though, some sources say, despite serving as a volleyball player in Bangladesh Air Force, considering his passion for cricket, Ebadot was given the opportunity to play cricket in Dhaka City Club in 2014.

So, among 14, 611 contestants in Robi pacer hunt, Ebadot won with distinction. Even though 139-140 kmph may not satisfy any experts to tag him as a fast bowler, but in Bangladesh how many could bowl with such speed on a consistent basis and there always remains the option to improve more if nurtured in a correct system.

Ebadot was brought into HP squad.

Aaqib Javed, the former Pakistani fast bowler, paid a visit to Dhaka in August 2016 for a week-long workshop with Bangladesh’s young fast bowlers.  Aaqib was impressed with two young pacers – one was the 6 feet 2 inch Ali Ahmmed and the other was Ebadot. Especially, Aaqib was in full praise about Ebadot.

He said, “He has got pace, good body and action. But he has to come out of that phase. Ebadat is bowling 138-140 kph with his physique. Coaches told me he will go back and join the Air Force and stop practising. I think somebody should give him a contract or a job that is related to cricket. He reminded me of Mohammad Irfan. We worked on him for six months and made him ready for first-class cricket. If he can build a decent body, he can be a future Bangladesh fast bowler”.

Aaqib’s suggestion was taken with great importance by Bangladesh think tank and included him in the BCB XI, who played a warm-up match against the touring England team in 2016. In his first spell, Ebadot impressed with pace and movement – Jason Roy and James Vince were his victims. Ebadot’s first spell impressed many, but lack of professional fitness halted his progress for a while.

Ebadot had sustained the injury during training session soon after practice match against England and would miss the preparatory camp in Sydney, Australia, where the Bangladesh squad departed for a 10-day camp before touring New Zealand. “He has a grade two tear for which it can take three to four weeks to recover,” team physio Bayjidul Islam said such.

Ebadat was a surprise pick in the 22-man squad announced on Friday, especially with Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Rubel Hossain and Al-Amin Hossain being ignored for the Australia camp.

After a rehabilitation program, Ebadot returned to first-class cricket. On heavily-batting-friendly decks of Bangladesh’s domestic cricket, Ebadot was impactful. At first, after returning from injury, he struggled to bowl quickly like before, but with each match, he regained his rhythm. That lively pace was back!

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In a domestic shorter-format tournament, Ebadot impressed the expert eyes and as soon as Taskin was unavailable, Bangladesh think tank did not wait further to include Ebadot in the side. Some of the fans criticized his inclusion in the Test squad depending on performance in shorter-format. But to criticise Ebadot’s selection on the basis of shorter-format would be lame as the young man has fetched 59 wickets from 19 first-class matches at an average of 28.94 on docile decks of Bangladesh domestic circuit. If we don’t give such you guns the chance now, then when?

Fast bowlers are always special and in any team, they are regarded the x-factor in bowling lineup, who can come up with some inspiring spells against the run of play and contribute to team’s success. And if he is able to move the ball at pace, then that is a big bonus.

Bangladesh’s Ebadot possesses such qualities and he just needs enough opportunities to prove his worth.

In my opinion, the Bangladesh think tank has made a bold decision to include Ebadot in the Test squad. In New Zealand pace would be needed and someone like Ebadot can not only provide Bangladesh with the cutting edge with speed, but the x-factor in bowling lineup as well.

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