It takes time to change : An interview with Naimur Rahman Durjoy
by Khondaker Mirazur Rahman
Published: 20th November, 2007
Naimur Rahman Durjoy is one of those rare cricketers who have led their country in a maiden Test. Durjoy captained Bangladesh in its inaugural Test match and led from the front, bagging 6 wickets with his offspin. Despite his bright debut at the highest level of international cricket, Durjoy could only manage 6 more Test wickets his 8 match career; one which was never the same after his bowling underwent ICC mandated remedial action. Durjoy's brief Test tenure lasted just over one year. Along with his Test career, Durjoy was also a regular in the Bangladeshi ODI setup during the pre-test era, playing 29 ODIs with modest success, over a 7 year span (ending in 2002). After continuing to perform well in domestic cricket, he retired from cricket in 2004 to focus on his business interests. In August 2007, Durjoy was made a member of the National Selection Panel that also consists of Akram Khan and is led by Rafiqul Alam. In this interview with Bangla Cricket editor Khondaker Mirazur Rahman, the man who was arguably Bangladesh's last international-class off-spinner, reveals his thoughts about selection policy, domestic infrastructure, and Bangladesh’s struggle in Test cricket.
Khondaker Mirazur Rahman: You were the captain of Bangladesh in their debut Test in November 2000. Now seven years later, again in November 2007, you are part of the Test set up, this time picking the national squad as a selector. What made you interested in taking up this role?
Naimur Rahman: It was a great honor to lead the country in the debut Test; nothing is comparable to that feeling. When I started as a player we all dreamt about playing Test cricket one day. It (maiden Test) was a great occasion for Bangladesh cricket, the beginning of a new era and I was lucky that I was picked to lead the team. My Test career was rather short due to a number of reasons but I am happy to be back again as a selector. Cricket is my passion and the offer to associate myself with Bangladesh cricket was too good to turn down.
KMR: Do you think Bangladesh cricket has made satisfactory progress over the last 7 years?
NR: We started playing Test cricket without even knowing its full ramification or demands. There was no first class league, no experience (for our players) in the longer version game and no infrastructure to support Test match cricket. The scenario is completely different now; we have developed a pretty strong cricket culture in Bangladesh in this short period of time. We might have failed to achieve significant success in Test cricket but we have managed to strengthen our almost non-existent base. Now we will be able to progress (more) smoothly. It (early days of Test status) was a difficult time for Bangladesh cricket, but as a whole I am not disappointed. At the same time, we have made significant leaps in One Day cricket. Our boys are quite capable of beating any team in the world on a good day. This is a huge difference compared to 2000 when we played international cricket just to be a part of the cricket atmosphere.
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