Cricket World Rewind: #OnThisDay – Habibul Bashar is born - Bangladesh's former captain and fiery batsman
August 17, 1972 - The trouble with Habibul Bashar was that despite bringing up frequent half-centuries, he failed to convert them into three figures. Bashar, who made 3,026 runs from 50 test matches at an average of over 30, has 24 half-centuries to his name but could make only three test tons. His poor conversion rate brought him the name Mr Fifty.
When Bangladesh made their test debut against India in November 2018, the team had two batters who stood out. One was Aminul Islam who scored a gutsy 145 in Bangladesh's first-ever test innings. The other was Habibul Bashar who was much more flamboyant and struck a fluent 71 off 112 deliveries at a strike rate of 63.39 including 10 boundaries.
Bashar made another vital contribution of 30 in the second innings. However, after Bangladesh were bowled out for just 91 in their second innings, they lost their maiden test against India by 9 wickets. But not without putting up a fight.
Habibul Bashar was one of the few Bangladesh batsmen of his generation who truly belonged to the test level. His strokes, not least the very watchable drive off midwicket, were a delight to watch.
However, he had one evident chink in his armour - the tendency to play the hook shot despite it bringing about his dismissal very often. It was this shot which saw him get dismissed in both the innings in Bangladesh's maiden test.
In Bangladesh's 2nd test against Zimbabwe, Bashar scored 64 and 76 in Harare. When Bangladesh played a two-test series against Australia, Bashar showed heart with 141 runs.
The trouble for the right-hand batsman was that despite bringing up frequent half-centuries, he failed to convert them into three figures. Bashar, who made 3,026 runs from 50 test matches at an average of over 30, has 24 half-centuries to his name but could make only three test tons.
The first of which came against Zimbabwe in 2001. His next century was scored against Pakistan in Karachi in 2003, while the third and the last was compiled against West Indies in Gros Islet. His poor conversion rate brought him the name Mr Fifty.
Despite his flamboyant presence at the crease, Habibul Bashar did not have a successful ODI career and averaged a tick over 20 from 111 ODI in which he scored 2,168 runs with 14 half-centuries and no century.
After an ordinary start to his ODI career which included back to back ducks, Bashar had to wait for more than two years to bring up his maiden ODI half-century which came in the form of a 70 against Zimbabwe in Nairobi in October 1997.
Named captain of the Bangladesh test team in 2004, Bashar got off to inauspicious start with a pair on debut as test captain. He captained Bangladesh in 18 test matches out of which the team lost 13 and won just a solitary match while drawing four.
Bashar's peak as captain was a five-wicket ODI victory over Australia in Cardiff in 2005. He was also the captain of the team when they won their first test (and series) against Zimbabwe in 2004.
Bashar led Bangladesh in the 2007 World Cup as they beat South Africa and India. However, as his runs began to dry, Bashar was replaced with Mohammad Ashraful as ODI captain and later dropped from the side.
He joined the rebel Indian Cricket League but was accepted back later. Bashar retired shortly thereafter in 2010. The very next year, he was appointed Bangladesh's national selector.
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