MUSTAFIZUR RAHMAN - THE CUTTER MASTER


Early life
Mustafizur Rahman grew up in the small town of Shatkhira in Khulna Division, Bangladesh. He is the youngest of Abul Qasem Gazi and Mahmuda Khatun's six children.His father is an enthusiastic fan of cricket. Rahman's interest in cricket rose when he started practicing the game 40 kilometers away from home every morning, with his brother Mokhlesur Rahman. This affected his education as he occasionally skipped study to play cricket.
Prior to discovering his bowling talents, Rahman played as a batsman with a tennis ball.According to him, he took inspiration from Pakistani pacer Mohammad Amir, who is his idol.

Youth career
In 2012, Rahman came to the capital Dhaka to try out for a fast-bowlers camp.Prior to that, scouters first encountered him in an Under-17 tournament in his hometown. He was admitted to the Bangladesh Cricket Board's foundation of fast bowling. Soon he was selected to the Bangladesh Under-19 side for the 2014 Under-19 Cricket World Cup in UAE, where he took a total of eight wickets. Rahman started both his First-class cricket and List-A cricket from 2014, representing Khulna Division and Abahani Limited, respectively.He was picked for Bangladesh A's tour of West Indies.

Domestic career
Indian Premier League
In the Indian Premier League auction of the 2016 season, Rahman was drafted by Sunrisers Hyderabad.He took 17 wickets in 16 matches in that tournament where Sunrisers Hyderabad won the title. He was named as "Emerging Player of the Tournament", being the first overseas player to receive this award.

Bangladesh Premier League
Rahman's professional Twenty20 career outside international cricket was the Bangladesh Premier League, where he played for Dhaka Dynamites in its 2015 season. He took 14 wickets in 10 matches in that tournament.

NatWest T20 Blast
In March 2016, English side Sussex announced that they had signed Rahman as their second overseas player for the T20 Blast competition.

Pakistan Super League
Mustafizur was selected by Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League.The BCB was reluctant to let him play there. However, the issue was resolved when Rahman got a shoulder injury in early 2016, thus preventing him from playing in the PSL.

International career
Emergence
Mustafizur began his international career in a twenty overs match against Pakistan on 24 April 2015, where he took the wickets of Shahid Afridi and Mohammad Hafeez, two veteran Pakistani batsmen.

In June, India toured Bangladesh for one Test and three One Day Internationals. Rahman was picked in the ODI squad. In his first match of the series, Rahman gave signs of his potential against the strong Indian batting line-up by taking a five-wicket haul off 9.2 overs in the first match. Bangladesh won the match and Rahman became the tenth bowler in the history of ODIs to take five wickets on debut. In the second ODI, Rahman took another six wickets.This helped him to earn the record of most wickets of any bowler after two ODIs, surpassing the record previously held by Zimbabwe's Brian Vitori. He completed the last ODI with 2 wickets and made history by taking 13 wickets in a three-match ODI series.

The following month, Rahman took 5 wickets in three ODIs to help Bangladesh win the series against South Africa by 2–1. He made his Test debut in the same series versus South Africa where he picked up 4 wickets.

In the month of November, Bangladesh hosted Zimbabwe for three ODIs and two T20s. Rahman played a salient role in the ODI matches, taking a total of 8 wickets.He captured his third five-wicket haul in the last game.He could not contribute much in the T20 series, though he bowled economically, which resulted both sides sharing a win.The next year in January, Bangladesh again played with Zimbabwe in four T20s. Rahman played in the first two matches, which they won. Shoulder injury prevented him playing the entire series.

Mustafizur made his return in the 2016 Asia Cup held in Bangladesh. In the first match against India, he conceded forty runs in four overs without taking a wicket. He took three wickets in the next two games against UAE and Sri Lanka, which resulted in his team winning both the games. Then he was ruled out from rest of the series due to side strain. During the 2016 World Twenty20 held in India in March, he missed the Group Stage matches and the match against Pakistan in main round. In the three matches he played, he took nine wickets including a five wicket haul against New Zealand.

Injury problems
While bowling in the second T20I against Zimbabwe in January 2016, Mustafizur injured his shoulder. Following that, he was dropped from the squad for the first time since debut.During the Asia Cup held in the next month, he was again sidelined from the team due to his side strain.

Playing style
Rahman achieved success in the beginning of his international career by bowling off cutters, a type of bowling which swings the ball away. Rahman stated that he first discovered the technique after his fellow cricketer, Anamul Haque insisted him to bowl a slower delivery.

Personal and disciplinary issues
Rahman was assisted by captain Mashrafe Mortaza to talk on post-match interview twice, and on a press conference once. Normally, he struggles to speak to the media and public.

In his first ODI match, Rahman collided with the Indian batsman MS Dhoni on two occasions while Dhoni was taking runs. The incident cost both men to be fined post-match.

Records and milestones
Mustafizur Rahman became the tenth bowler to take a five-wicket haul on ODI debut.He achieved the records of taking the most wickets  as well as the fourth player to be awarded Man of the match in the first two starting ODI matches.

Rahman took 13 wickets in a three-match bilateral ODI series, which is the highest as of 2016. He is the first player to win Man of the Match awards on both Test and ODI debuts.

The governing body of cricket, the International Cricket Council, included Rahman on the ICC ODI Team of the Year in 2015, recognizing him as one of the top cricketers of that year. He is the first Bangladeshi cricketer to achieve this and the second to be selected for any ICC team after Shakib Al Hasan.


Batting and fielding averages
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100 50 4s 6s Ct St
Tests 2 1 0 3 3 3.00 13 23.07 0 0 0 0 0 0
ODIs 9 5 3 15 9 7.50 33 45.45 0 0 2 0 2 0
T20Is 13 5 1 8 6 2.00 11 72.72 0 0 0 1 2 0
First-class 15 16 10 26 14 4.33 134 19.40 0 0 4 0 3 0
List A 14 6 3 16 9 5.33 40 40.00 0 0 2 0 2 0
Twenty20 39 6 2 9 6 2.25 13 69.23 0 0 0 1 8 0




Bowling averages
Mat      Inns      NO Runs HS Ave  BF SR  100   50   4s   6s   Ct    St
Tests 2 1 0 3 3 3.00 13 23.07     0    0    0    0   0     0
ODIs 9 5 3 15 9 7.50 33 45.45     0    0    2    0   2     0
T20Is 13 5 1 8 6 2.00 11 72.72     0    0    0    1   2     0
First-class 15 16 10 26 14 4.33 134 19.40    0    0    4   0     3 0
List A 14 6 3 16 9 5.33 40 40.00     0    0    2    0   2     0
Twenty20  39 6 2 9 6 2.25 13 69.23     0    0    0    1   8     0

Career statistics
Test debut Bangladesh v South Africa at Chittagong, Jul 21-25, 2015 scorecard
Last Test         Bangladesh v South Africa at Dhaka, Jul 30-Aug 3, 2015 scorecard
Test statistics

ODI debut Bangladesh v India at Dhaka, Jun 18, 2015 scorecard
Last ODI         Bangladesh v Zimbabwe at Dhaka, Nov 11, 2015 scorecard
ODI statistics

T20I debut Bangladesh v Pakistan at Dhaka, Apr 24, 2015 scorecard
Last T20I        Bangladesh v New Zealand at Kolkata, Mar 26, 2016 scorecard
T20I statistics

First-class debut Khulna Division v Dhaka Division at Cox's Bazar, Apr 19-22, 2014 scorecard
Last First-class Khulna Division v Dhaka Division at Fatullah, Oct 17-20, 2015 scorecard
List A debut       Abahani Limited v Kalabagan Krira Chakra at Fatullah, Nov 28, 2014 scorecard
Last List A       Bangladesh v Zimbabwe at Dhaka, Nov 11, 2015 scorecard
Twenty20 debut Bangladesh v Pakistan at Dhaka, Apr 24, 2015 scorecard
Last Twenty20        Royal Challengers Bangalore v Sunrisers Hyderabad at Bangalore, May 29, 2016



Recent matches
Bat & Bowl Team Opposition Ground                Match Date
1/37   Sunrisers v RCB     Bangalore              29 May 2016
0/28   Sunrisers v KKR     Delhi                     25 May 2016
1/32         Sunrisers v KKR    Kolkata                     22 May 2016
1/24         Sunrisers v Daredevils Raipur           20 May 2016
1/32   Sunrisers v Kings XI Mohali            15 May 2016
0/39   Sunrisers v Daredevils Hyderabad         12 May 2016
0/26         Sunrisers v Supergiants Visakhapatnam   10 May 2016
3/16         Sunrisers v Mum Indians Visakhapatnam 8 May 2016
2/17   Sunrisers v Guj Lions Hyderabad (Deccan) 6 May 2016
1/34         Sunrisers v RCB Hyderabad (Deccan) 30 Apr 2016




Profile
Mustafizur Rahman is a left-arm pace bowler who came to Dhaka to try out for a fast-bowling camp in 2012, after he had impressed in an Under-17 tournament in Satkhira, some 300km from Dhaka. He got admitted to the BCB's pace foundation and soon caught the coaches' attention to make the Bangladesh Under-19 side for the 2014 World Cup.

He made his first-class debut for Khulna in the 2013-14 season and, after taking eight wickets in the U-19 World Cup in the UAE, he was surprisingly picked for Bangladesh A's tour of West Indies. Returning from that short trip, he was viewed as a better bowler and slowly picked up more variations. He initially lacked pace but built it up through the 2014-15 first-class season, when he took 26 wickets at an average of 19.08.

This was when Mustafizur started to develop the left-armer's offcutter, which was delivered as a spinner does but with the added ability of making it carry to the wicketkeeper standing back. The story of Anamul Haque's dare that got him to bowl the delivery will go into Bangladeshi cricket folklore, as will the early support he received from Mashrafe Mortaza, who spotted him randomly in the Mirpur nets.

Soon enough, the Bangladesh selectors picked Mustafizur for the one-off T20I against Pakistan and then, midway through 2015, for the ODI series against India when he became only the second bowler after Brian Vitori to take five-wicket hauls in his first two ODIs, paving the way for Bangladesh's first-ever ODI series win over India.

He was excellent in bilateral series against South Africa - which included a Test debut - and Zimbabwe, while also doing well in his first BPL campaign. Mustafizur's first foray on to the world stage was through the IPL auction, when he was picked Sunrisers Hyderabad in early 2016, followed by confirmation of a contract with Sussex for English domestic limited-overs cricket. He ensured none of his new paymasters doubted their call as he emerged as one of the best bowlers in the World T20, signing off with a five-wicket haul against New Zealand, bamboozling them with his variation of cutters.
Mohammad Isam

Mustafizur Rahman's One Day International five-wicket hauls
# Figures Match Against City/Country Venue Year Result
1 5/50 1 India Bangladesh Dhaka, Bangladesh Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium 2015 Won
2 6/43 2 India Bangladesh Dhaka, Bangladesh Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium 2015 Won
3 5/34 9 Zimbabwe Bangladesh Dhaka, Bangladesh Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium 2015 Won


Domestic team information

Years       Team
2014–Present Khulna Division
2016–Present Mohammedan Sporting Club
2015–Present Dhaka Dynamites
2016-Present Lahore Qalandars
2016–Present Sunrisers Hyderabad
2016–Present Sussex County Cricket Club



Indian Premier League (IPL) Summary
Mustafizur arrived in the IPL with the reputation of being a wonder kid and has lived up to it with 16 wickets from 14 matches for Sunrisers Hyderabad, at an economy rate of 6.71. This isn't the first time he has done well in India - he took nine wickets in only three games during the World T20 - but it is important to appreciate the constraints he has had to overcome to work his magic in the IPL.

Despite a rousing start to his international career, the IPL, it is fair to say, has been a unique challenge for Mustafizur. For starters, it is the longest he has spent outside his natural environment without a fellow Bangladeshi for company. It doesn't help that he is prone to homesickness. While such things come with being a professional sportsperson, the biggest handicap for Mustafizur has been his inability to speak English.

Sunrisers batsman Ricky Bhui, who was part of India's Under-19 World Cup team in 2014 and 2016, is the only player in the squad that speaks Bengali, Mustafizur's mother tongue. Bhui knows 'The Fizz' from 2014, when they were part of their respective sides at the Under-19 World Cup in 2014. When Sunrisers' manager knew of Bhui's background he immediately informed coach Tom Moody and captain David Warner, who had even joked on Twitter that he was "using translation on google for fizz. Working out how to speak Bangla hehe. Tora tora." In Bhui, Warner and Sunrisers had found a much-needed translator.

"Mera aur Mustafizur ka achchha banta tha [Mustafizur and I get along very well]," Bhui tells ESPNcricinfo. "Because he couldn't speak English he couldn't have many conversations with others in the team. He would talk to me and so there is good bonding between us."

Soon after Mustafizur had joined the team Bhui briefed him about the role the management required him to play. Bhui says there is very little said at pre-game team meetings, and that most of the communication takes place during strategic time-outs.

"The role he would be required to play in the first 10 overs or the latter half, what he had to bowl to each batsman and which field he had to bowl to needed to be explained to him," Bhui says. "During the strategic time-out I would go and translate Warner's instructions and the field set for him."

Bhui says Mustafizur mostly communicates using "sign language" on the field. "Slower one daalna hai toh aise haath ghumate hain, bouncer hai to sar pe ishaara karte hain [if he's going to bowl a slower one, he rotates his wrist, and if it's a bouncer he points to the head]," he says. "He says only two words - problem and no problem. Not just on the ground but everywhere - be it a press conference or sponsor event or when he speaks to the manager. If he says 'problem' he is totally clueless, if he says 'no problem' then he knows what to do."

Mustafizur, though, hasn't let English come in the way of being himself in matches or at training. In Hyderabad, ahead of Sunrisers' game against Gujarat Lions, Mustafizur rapped Moises Henriques on the ribs. As Henriques wondered how he missed the ball and avoided eye-contact with the bowler, Mustafizur mockingly sashayed towards the batsman with a mischievous grin on his face.

"As a person he is a good character around the team," Moody says. "He is quite a funny guy, you can see that he has got a bright personality. And, you know, he has added value to the side not only on the field but also off the field."

Moody says the communication barrier broke gradually over the course of the tournament. "Not that our Bengali has got any better but his English has probably got a little bit better. Also cricket is a pretty universal language."

Shikhar Dhawan vouches for how Mustafizur's sharp cricketing brain helped him bridge communication gaps. "Most of the times he understands what we tell him," he says. "Mustafiz is a great bowler and has a good sense of cricket, and he understands what we tell him."

Off the field, Mustafizur has kept to himself and stays indoors most of the time. "He always stays in his room," Bhui says. "He has stopped going out for social events because of the fear of speaking [in English]."

According to Bhui, Mustafizur doesn't talk much about cricket and most of his conversations revolve around his family. "There are a few things he says about his bowling, but given that these are team strategies I can't really tell you about them. He always talks about his background and his family. He keeps talking to his brothers on Skype a lot."

Some things, though, haven't changed. "Mujhe batting kabhi nahi karna aur English nahin bolna hai. Hamesha wohi bolta hai [He always keeps saying he doesn't want to bat or speak English]," Bhui says with a laugh. "[But he has still] managed to pick up a few English words



Cricket Celebrity Comment's
 Mustafizur Rahman reminds me of Wasim Akram, says Dale Steyn South African pace spearhead Dale Steyn said Bangladesh seamer Mustafizur Rahman has the X-factor and the skills to match the legendary Wasim Akram.

Twenty20 cricket, with heavy bats and smaller grounds, should ideally favour batsmen in a format that feasts on high scores. However, the bowlers have evolved and adapted as much as the batsmen have and are restoring the balance between bat and ball. Umar Gul, RP Singh and Irfan Pathan made this clear as early as in the inaugural edition of ICC World Twenty20 with some spectacular spells.

The shortest format of the game has tested the bowlers but at the same time has provided them with a platform to become superstars. The latest to join an increasingly long list of star bowlers is Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman. The lanky pacer has been making headlines since his dream debut. In his first ODI against India, Mustafizur picked a five-for, setting the stage for Bangladesh to seal a historic series win. (Suresh Raina likes to keep things simple, says Dale Steyn)

Mustafizur's talent was spotted immediately and he was drafted in by the Sunrisers Hyderabad during the Indian Premier League auctions in February this year. The left-arm seamer has repaid the faith, picking seven wickets in six matches in the ongoing ninth edition of the IPL. He had a poor time in the field last night , conceding 21 runs off two overs against a charged-up Rising Pune Supergiants but that was a rare failure in what has been an outstanding initiation into international cricket. (I never try to emulate anyone, says Virat Kohli)


Mustafizur, thanks to his consistency in the IPL has won plenty of admirers, including SRH skipper David Warner and all-rounder Moises Henriques.

Now, Dale Steyn, arguably the fastest bowler in the world, has taken note of Mustafizur's sharp skills and compared him to the legendary Wasim Akram.

"Mustafizur has got the skill set, X-factor Wasim Akram had. I wouldn't say Mustafizur is swinging as much as Akram did but it is fantastic to see him bowl." Steyn said in an exclusive interview with intoday.in.

Mustafizur has already given us some of the most exciting moments of the IPL this year. His in-swinging yorker that cleaned up Andre Russell was a spectacle. And on Saturday, he bowled 16 dot balls in his four-over spell and finished with figures of 4-1-9-2.

While the best in the business have failed to come up with strong tactics to deal with Mustafizur, Steyn, a champion himself, seems to have realised why the young Bangladeshi has spread terror among batsmen the world over.

"We are so used to right arm bowlers who bowl quick and also bowl off-cutters to surprise batsmen. Now this guy is a left-armer and his cutters and pace changes are things that nobody has seen before," Steyn said. Sounds legit?

Steyn also said that major tournaments are becoming platforms for pacers to step up and deliver. The South African pacer cited Mitchell Starc and Trent Boult's case  after the Trans-Tasman duo lit up the 2015 Cricket World Cup.


"Every year somebody comes up, somebody steps up. At the World Cup, last year, we had Trent Boult and Mitchell Starc who came out and did something different. They both were bowling yorkers and swinging the white ball extremely well.  While Starc was hitting 100 mph-mark, Boult was swinging it upfront. Now we have got Mustafizur from Bangladesh.  I hope he goes from strength to strength. I hope we have a few more guys like Mustafizur next season," Steyn said.



MUSTAFIZUR RAHMAN - THE CUTTER MASTER MUSTAFIZUR RAHMAN - THE CUTTER MASTER Reviewed by Holud Himu on 8:47:00 AM Rating: 5
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