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Bijoy eyes 1000 runs in record-breaking DPL season

| Updated: April 24, 2022 17:36:18

Bijoy eyes 1000 runs in record-breaking DPL season

Anamul Haque Bijoy is having a dream Dhaka Premier league, already scoring 878 runs in the tournament with two centuries and seven fifties from 12 innings. 

He has the opportunity to reach 1000 runs for the first time ever in a Bangladesh List A cricket tournament as he still has three matches left.

He continued his brilliant form in the ongoing Dhaka Premier League as the wicketkeeper-batter scored 73 for Prime Bank Cricket Club against Legends of Rupganj on Thursday to surpass Saif Hasan's record for most runs scored in the league since the tournament gained List A status in 2013.

Saif held the record with 814 runs in the 2018-19 season. Anamul broke the record when he reached ten runs on his way to scoring his seventh fifty in the ongoing DPL.

The dream run has brought forward an obvious question - does Bijoy deserve a call-up in the national ODI setup imminently.

Bijoy stole the show in the 2012 Under-19 World Cup by becoming the highest run-getter of the tournament over batters like Babar Azam and Quinton de Kock.

He went off to a flying start in his international career as well, scoring 120 in his second ODI against West Indies to help Bangladesh record their then-biggest win in the 50-over format. 

The southpaw smashed three centuries in his first 18 innings for Bangladesh, the sort of start every youngster would dream off.

However, bad days soon followed. He got himself injured in a match against Scotland in the 2015 World Cup while fielding and was ruled out of the tournament. He was immediately replaced by a high-flying Soumya Sarkar and he was out of the national team for three years. 

Besides, there was criticism about his strike rate and his inability to rotate the strike even when he was scoring runs in the early days of his career.

Bijoy played eight ODIs between 2018 and 2019 after returning to the national squad but looked a shadow of his former self.

Liton and Soumya being in and around the national team did not help either and he has been away from the Bangladesh Squad ever since.

But the wicket-keeper batsman has successfully brought the spotlight back on himself again in this year’s DPL.

He started the tournament with a fifty and followed that up with a hundred in the next match. In a match against Shinepukur Cricket Club, Bijoy fell just 16 short of a double hundred. 

Bijoy has hardly failed to register a big score with the bat so far in this tournament.

The brilliant DPL run is not an isolated event as it comes on the back of a decent run in this year’s Bangladesh Premier League. In nine matches, he scored 280 runs at an average of 31 and with a strike rate of 122.

But is it enough to get back into the national ODI team?

According to former skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, it is important for someone like Anamul to come through the right process.

"There should be a few more steps before getting into the national team such as the A-team and High-Performance team considering the level and see how he performs. I think someone like Anamul should be looked after well as he scored huge runs.” 

“Be it on slow, low or turning tracks, he dominated and scored runs which are tremendous and I think he should be kept at or near the national set-up and work accordingly," Mashrafe told the media Thursday.

Bangladesh have a well-established opening partnership in Tamim Iqbal and Liton Kumar Das in ODIs at this moment. Since 2020, this pair played together in 20 of the 21 matches Bangladesh competed in.

As the recently concluded South Africa tour showed, both the batsman are in good touch and look set in the playing eleven, meaning it would be tough for Bijoy to bust into the opening slot of the national team immediately.

But the status quo is not completely bleak for the opener, as he can easily slide into the ODI squad as a backup opener.

Soumya Sarker is having a horrible run lately, even being dropped by his DPL team Mohammedan. Nayim  Sheikh and Najmul Hossain Shanto are also out of touch while skipper Tamim Iqbal stated that they consider Mahmudul Hasan Joy as a middle-order batter in ODIs.

So as things stand, selectors can easily include Anamul Haque Bijoy as a backup opener for the national ODI team, rewarding him for his brilliant domestic run in the process.

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