Shakib ascends to top wickettaker throne for Bangladesh in all formats

Shakib Al Hasan has stamped his name on a number of first-ever feats for Bangladesh cricket but this time the Tigers' talisman has again scaled uncharted heights.

Published : 25 Sept 2016, 07:40 PM
Updated : 25 Sept 2016, 10:26 PM

The 29-year-old allrounder is now the highest wickettaker for Bangladesh across all formats of international cricket.

His tally in Tests (147) and Twenty20 International (65) had been out of reach for other Bangladesh bowlers for some time now, but he was one wicket shy of the record ODI tally when he got on the field in the first match against Afghanistan on Sunday.

Abdur Razzak had held the ODI record with 207 wickets but Shakib grabbed two in their narrow seven-run win to surpass his senior spinner.

He trapped Shabir Noor to match Razzak's tally before making the game's pivotal breakthrough with Rahmat Shah's scalp to complete the feat.

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza follows Shakib closely with 203 wickets in the 50-over affair but the southpaw's career is likely to last longer than his captain's.

It must be noted that T20I was introduced in 2005, hence most of the legends could not try out the shortest format.

In the older versions of cricket - Tests and ODIs - seven boast the record of holding the top wicket-tally in both forms for their countries.

The eccentric list includes West Indies' Courtney Walsh, Paksitan's Wasim Akram, India's Anil Kumble, South Africa's Shaun Pollock, England's James Anderson, Zimbabwe's Heath Streak and Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan - who also hold the world record in the two formats.

Muralitharan, Pollock and Anderson had the opportunity to play T20Is.

Shakib, however, made no secret that he also wants to rise to the top in run-scoring in all formats.

"It feels good to be the highest wickettaker. But it would have been better if I had scored the highest runs in all three formats too. But everyone has been doing so well that I am not getting chance to bat," Shakib said after the match.

"It feels good but ultimately the focus is on how much I can do for the team," he added.

It is obviously difficult to imagine any one player at the top with both the bat and the ball in all formats, but for Shakib, the unique feat is not out of reach.

"If I was the highest run getter and then highest wickettaker, then maybe it would have been a great thing.

"But they've played so well over the last year that I could barely score 30-40. But the opportunity is still there. Let's see how far I can go before my career ends…"

He is third among the Bangladesh batsmen in Tests with 2,823 runs after opener Tamim Iqbal's tally of 3,118 and former captain Habibul Bashar's 3,026.

Shakib is right below Tamim in ODIs and T20Is. In one-day cricket, Shakib has 4,446 runs compared to Tamim's 4,793 while in the shortest format, the allrounder is breathing his teammates' neck with 1,103 runs against 1,154.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher