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Najmul Hossain Shanto: From a laughing stock to a hero in making



Photo: Najmul Hossain Shanto celebrates after T20 series win against England, Cricfrenzy

|| CF DESK ||

Bangladesh left arm batter Najmul Hossain Shanto, who is known as ‘Lord’ in a sarcastic way on social media platforms, is on a mission to erase that image and gradually becoming an important part of Bangladesh cricket with his impressive performances.

Shanto has been in a great form in the T20 edition from the last year T20 World Cup. After the last World Cup in Australia, he had flourished with runs in last Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) as well.

The lefty scored the highest 180 runs for Bangladesh in the World Cup but the strike rate was less than 120, which was a big concern.

But in BPL he made a big contribution to Sylhet Strikers, which was a new franchise and helped them to become the runners-up of the tournament. Shanto scored the highest 516 runs of the tournament at an average of 39.69 with 4 fifties.

However, the question was about his strike rate. He also answered that with bat in the ongoing T20 series against England. The 25-years old batter has been performing well and overcoming harsh criticism, he has developed courage and confidence in his own skills.

The southpaw stayed on crease until the end in the second match at Mirpur, leading the Tigers through a crucial chase to achieve the historic series win over the World Champions. His scorching fifty in the opening T20I in Chattogram had given Bangladesh the momentum they needed to win the series.

Shanto came to bat at number three with a target of 157 runs. 124 runs off 99 balls were needed to win. The left hander took the responsibility by scoring 51 runs off just 30 balls with aggressive mindset. In Bangladesh's six wicket win, he was adjudged Man of the Match.

He appeared completely in a different approach in this series after the World Cup as he smashed eight boundaries with 170 strike rate in his match winning fifty. Shanto top-scored with 46 not out for in the second match of the three match series and became the top contender for the man of the series award.

The struggling batter was always backed up by his on field off field guardian Khaled Mahmud Sujon, who is the head coach of Dhaka Premier League team Abahani Limited and team director of Bangladesh national team.

Former player of Bangladesh has also get trolled by people in social media now and then but has the courage to face them strongly and try to teach his students such personality. In an interview with Cricfrenzy on Monday, Sujon shared his thought about Shanto and said really happy about his transformation.

“I am very happy (with Shanto’s change). It is a big thing that people are encouraging the boy even if it is late. I talk to Shanto every day. Always have conversation before and after any match. I always try to give him courage that this (Troll) will not last long. The only way to respond to it (troll) is your bat. It doesn't matter who says what,” Sujon said.

“The way he was trolled. It’s really sad. Because we all know Shanto is a good cricketer. Why Shanto get selected in the national team, why everyone likes him these questions is very common but he has that quality. He is a good cricketer. His fielding, body language is very good,”

Shanto, who had a pretty good three match ODI series too with two fifties before the T20Is, will serve the country for a long time, believes the team director.

“It's your (Shanto’s) profession, your career, it's nobody else's. If you do well, your career will be fine. I think he is working hard. In fact, he is getting the results of his hard work. I think he is like a race horse. I believe he will serve Bangladesh for a long time. Having worked with him for a long time, I understand that he is not ready to give up. He works hard.”

With all the senior players of Bangladesh cricket are on the edge of retirement, a player like Shanto can be a torchbearer of Tigers in the coming days.