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2024-02-24 19:34:14

A BPL to forget for Shanto

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A BPL to forget for Shanto

Just a year ago, when Najmul Hossain Shanto was adjudged the man of the tournament for his highest 516 runs in Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), he looked despair and cut a forlorn figure because those runs were not enough to win Sylhet Strikers the trophy, reports BSS.

Sylhet lost the final to Comilla Victorians despite Shanto's valiant effort. But Bangladesh got a future superstar in Shanto who then lived up to the expectation preciously to lead the country's batting chart in all format in that year.

In 2024, it all looked gloomy. Shanto now saw the other side of the coin. Sylhet failed to make it to last-four and narrowly avoided the bottom place, largely due to Shanto's lean patch at the top of the order.

He ended with 175 runs which came at an average of just 14.58 and a meager strike rate of 93.58. His highest was 39, a painfully struggling innings that came at the last match of Sylhet yesterday (Friday). His performance was so disappointing that he even failed to hit a six in the tournament.

After being the highest run-getter in the last BPL, Shanto carried the form to the International cricket and scored 1614 runs in 42 innings of 39 matches across three formats. Along with nine fifties, he hit five centuries in that year, which was highest by a Bangladeshi batter in a calendar year. The average was 43.62.

Once being trolled vehemently for his inconsistency, Shanto became a synonymous of consistency. His mental strength was key in shaping the career amid a huge criticism on and off the field.

Such was his performance and consistency that he even forced his case stronger as the future leader of Bangladesh. And it truly bestowed him when the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) appointed him as the captain of the national team in all format of the cricket after Shakib Al Hasan refused to continue as captain.

It was almost sealed that Shanto will lead Bangladesh after his captaincy, in absence of Shakib, earned the plaudits.

But to surprise of many, he was not made Sylhet Strikers captain. Sylhet however kept hopes in Mashrafe Bin Mortaza as captain but what was surprising call was that the management made Mohammad Mithun as vice-captain despite the presence of Shanto.

When Mashrafe left the side to discharge his duty as the Whip of Parliament, Shanto was ignored as captain again.

There was many who pondered the captaincy snub may be a cause of distraction because in International cricket his best came out when he led the side.

However Mithun who was the captain of Sylhet after Mashrafe left the team, hoped, Shanto would get back his form during his stint with national team.

"He did all the things what is possible for a batter to get back to form but it didn't click. I can't answer actually that why didn't it click. Hopefully he will get back his form in the International cricket," Mithun said after Sylhet Strikers' last match against Khulna Tigers which they won by six wickets on Friday.

"He was positive in every match. He came to play the match, being highly recharged but he failed. So when a player continue to be in bad patch, it is normal that disappointment would grip him. At the fag end of the tournament, he tried to be relaxed but still it didn't work."

Bd-pratidin English/Tanvir Raihan

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