Cricket World Rewind: #OnThisDay - Khaled Mahmud is born - Bangladesh's 3rd Test captain and committed all-rounder
July 26, 1971 - If there are two matches which define Khaled Mahmud's career, it is the Bangladesh upset against Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup and their one-wicket loss against the same opponents in the third Test of the Bangladesh tour of Pakistan in 2003 at Multan.
Both matches showcase Mahmud's character. What he lacked in ability, he more than made up for with his passion and the drive to do something for the team. This attribute almost morphed into his character as he wasn't shy of exchanging a few words with the opponents and was always up for a fight.
Mahmud was Bangladesh's third Test skipper and although he wasn't as successful as the first two, he will always have a special place in the cricket history of the country. He took over the reins of the side from Khaled Mashud at the time when Dav Whatmore was tasked with overhauling Bangladesh cricket.
Although Mahmud did not share a great rapport with the coach, both Whatmore and Masood deserve credit for not washing dirty linen in the public. Mahmud captained Bangladesh in 9 Test matches and 15 ODIs at a time when the team hardly won, but ensured that they did put up a tough fight, or at least tried to do so every time they took the field.
991 ODI runs from 77 matches at an average of 14.36 and 67 wickets at 42.76 or 266 runs from 12 Test matches at an average of 12.09 and 13 wickets at 64 are numbers that seem ordinary, but Mahmud had a far bigger role to play for the team than these numbers suggest.
In Bangladesh's historic win over Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup, Mahmud was the Man of the Match. After chipping in with a crucial 27 with the bat, he returned to dismiss dasher Shahid Afridi, Pakistan's best batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq and seasoned pro Saleem Malik.
In the narrow Test defeat against Pakistan at Multan as well, he made a valuable 29 in the first innings before coming back to pick up four wickets, that of both openers Mohammad Hafeez and Salman Butt. He also dismissed both Inzamam-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, the batsmen with the biggest stature in the Pakistan team.
In the second innings as well, he bowled his heart out, picking up the wickets of Yasir Hameed, Rashid Latif and Saqlain Mushtaq but failed to get through Inzamam-ul-Haq who won Pakistan the game by one wicket with an unbeaten 138.
His equation with coach Dav Whatmore had a role to play in the all-rounder not playing a single Test match for Bangladesh after November 2003 but he continued with the ODI side till February 2006, before retiring after the first match of the series against Sri Lanka.
His transition to coaching has been quite smooth as he has played various roles in the Bangladesh setup, including the prestigious post of Bangladesh's (temporary) coach in 2019, apart from his role in the Bangladesh Premier League.
It was Mahmud who set the base for Bangladesh's first-ever World Cup victory which came in the 2020 under 19 World Cup. Mahmud, then the technical director of cricket and now in charge of Bangladesh developmental system, made an entire 2 year plan which ensured that the team got enough fixtures away from home.
He selected 20 players for the under 19 side from the under 17 team in 2018 and stuck to the boys. After Mahmud chose the final 15, not a lot of chopping and changing was done as the team kept progressing steadily and reached the pinnacle of junior cricket with a win against none other than a powerful Indian under 19 team in the final of the 2020 under 19 World Cup.
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