Javed calls it quits, finallyStaff Correspondent
Former Bangladesh opener Javed Omar will bring the curtain down on his local and international career spanning over 25 years with an exhibition match featuring local legends today, said the player on Thursday.
Javed, who played 40 Tests and 59 one-day internationals, last represented the Tigers in 2007 but continued playing domestic cricket until recently when he was unable to find a team in the Dhaka Premier League.
‘I was looking for an opportunity to retire on the field,’ Javed told New Age. ‘But you see there is hardly any opportunity for me. I don’t know when the National Cricket League will be held this season. I also could not take part in the [Dhaka] Premier Cricket League because of the controversial ‘players by choice’ transfer system.’
Javed, an example of hard work and strong determination for many aspiring cricketers, began his career in the 1987-88 season when he was drafted into the Nirman School XI for a match in the Dhaka Premier League.
A regular performer in domestic cricket, Javed was always criticised for his slow approach, but he overcame the shortcoming with his consistency that was missing in many of his contemporary batsmen.
He made his international debut in 2005 with a one-day match against India in Sharjah and was also a member of the Bangladesh’s groundbreaking ICC trophy winning squad although he did not play a single match in Malaysia.
When Bangladesh was awarded Test status, Javed was thought to be an automatic choice though things did not go the way he had planned it. He was controversially left out of the starting line-up for the inaugural Test and Javed did not take too long to give his reply.
He was handed his debut against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in what was Bangladesh’s second ever Test match and the opener registered half-centuries in both innings. In the second innings he carried the bat, something which is rare for any opening batsman in Test cricket.
Despite a glittering start to his Test career, Javed went through many ups and downs in his career and was a part of many a historic occasion. He played a key role in some of Bangladesh’s major wins, including their first Test win and the first one-day win over Australia in Cardiff.
Javed was also adjudged man-of-the-series in Bangladesh’s first Test tour of England in 2005.
‘I was dropped more than 12 times in my career. But every time I was dropped, I came back with strong showings in domestic cricket,’ Javed reflected on his career.
‘Now, I am leaving cricket, but I don’t have any regrets. I am happy with whatever I have achieved.’
During his international career, Javed opened the innings with more than 10 cricketers starting from Athar Ali Khan and finishing with Tamim Iqbal.
While Javed was always considered Test material, ironically, his farewell match will be a Twenty20 affair.
Some of his former team-mates, including Akram Khan, Faruk Ahmed, Mehrab Hossain, Habibul Bashar, Khaled Mashud, Khaled Mahmud, Athar Ali Khan and Mashrafee bin Murtaza will feature in his farewell match.
The match, which will be played between legendary Bangladeshi cricketers and Bangladesh Sports Journalists Association, will be held at the National Academy ground at Mirpur.
A file photo shows Javed Omar acknowledging the crowd after scoring a fifty in his debut Test match against Zimbabwe in 2001.
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