'Would love to spend more time with my family'
Ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is all set to complete 10 years in international cricket on August 6 this year. However, there is a high chance that the player will not be in the country to celebrate that landmark. He will be leaving for the West Indies to take part in the Caribbean Premier League today and is expected to be there for at least one-and-a-half months.
As a result, The Daily Star's Naimul Karim spoke to him regarding his decade-long ventures beforehand. The first segment of the exclusive interview was published yesterday. The following are excerpts of the second and final segment.
The Daily Star (TDS): From the Asia Cup, the World T20, the Indian Premier League, the Dhaka Premier League and now to the Caribbean Premier League. Don't you get tired? You are, after all, almost 30.
Shakib Al Hasan (SAH): (Laughs). Actually this is the time to play for me. I'll probably play for six to seven more years if I am in good form. Basically, the more I play now, the more I improve. Cricket is everything, an income source, my love, part of life, so you can never be tired or you can never feel bad about playing. Yes, I might get a bit tired physically, but mentally there is no chance for me to feel weak.
TDS: How different is life now with your child and your family?
SAH: I don't think my life has changed that much. I am just a little bit busier. What I miss doing is spending more time with my family. That is something I have not been able to do in the last few months and I regret that. Apart from that I don't have anything else that I regret.
That's because I love playing and I can never leave that. If I play less and give my family more time, I don't think I'll enjoy that either. What I have to do is play the same number of games and find a way to spend more time with my family.
I am sure I can do that. There will be some periods in a player's life when you are busy. After the CPL I will be able to spend plenty of time with my family in Bangladesh.
TDS: Is your family traveling along with you to see the CPL?
SAH: No. Not this time because my daughter is still not a year old. We will start traveling after she turns one. My wife is very cautious about my child's health. I think that's partly because she grew up in America and she wants everything to be perfect (laughs). She does not want to take any risk. But generally, my wife and I always travel together.
TDS: You, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim are all around the decade mark. Do you think the next few years could be Bangladesh's golden era?
SAH: It may be the case because, if you see, all the teams are going through transitions or have just finished their transition at the moment. In our case, the transition happened a long time ago. And those present right now are established. We have seven to eight players who have played at least 70 to 80 ODIs each. The five of us, Mashrafe bhai, Mushfiq bhai, Tamim, Riyad bhai have played 150 ODIs each. Even [Abdur Razzak] Raj bhai has played 150 ODIs. I think in world cricket, there are few players who have played 100 ODIs at the moment. Every team may have three to four players but they won't have as many as seven to eight. So that's an advantage for us.
TDS: With six or seven more years to go, is there any particular place you want to see yourself reach by the end of your career?
SAH: I think if I set a target, it's going to get difficult. Alhamdulillah, what's happening now is going well. I will try to make it better. I will feel really good if I see that my team is in a good place before I finish. We had a good year in 2015. If we can continue this for the next few years and we are in good form, with the 2019 World Cup, I feel we have a good opportunity.
TDS: And maybe you see yourself as a captain as well. It's something that you enjoy, right?
SAH: No… it would be wrong to say that I enjoy captaincy. If someone hands it over to me, then that's because in that particular moment I am the best possible person to lead the team and I will try my best. But it's not as though I want this. If I get it, it's fine, but I don't care. Honestly speaking I don't even think about it.
TDS: Lastly, do you have anything else to say regarding your 10-year experience? What has been the ultimate learning?
SAH: We learn everyday. There have been many ups and downs in the last 10 years. People learn a lot when they struggle, but I feel I learnt a lot in my good times as well. I think the amount of love from the audience that I have received here… this would not have been possible to get in other countries. It's a big privilege for me and everyone in the national team. I am also really happy about our batch. We are contributing well to the national team. When I started playing cricket, everyone used to ask us where we wanted to see Bangladesh in the next six to seven years and we used to say that we want to see ourselves in the top five. Now we are ranked seven. If we do well in the next two series we may reach five. Back then we used to say these things just because we had to. Reality was different. But I think the fact that we could say these things was quite gutsy.
Md. Habibur Rahman (Habib)
Assistant Officer (F&A)
Daffodil International University (DIU)
Corporate Office, Daffodil Family
Phone: +88 02 9138234-5 (Ext: 140)
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