I will stay the same: Mehedi | The Daily Star
02:50 PM, October 31, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:14 PM, October 31, 2016

I will stay the same: Mehedi

He might have been the man of the series; he might have been one of the key reasons behind Bangladesh’s historic moment; but 19-year-old Mehedi Hasan doesn’t seem to be overawed by the current situation.

Speaking to reporters at the team hotel earlier in the morning today Mehedi vowed to remain the same and ensure that he further improves his game.

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“I still have a long way to go. The challenge is going to get more difficult the more I play. The tracks here turn but the tracks outside Bangladesh don’t. So I need to adapt. I am still going to be the same and stay focused. I am not going to change,” said Mehedi while leaving the team hotel.

True to his word, the 19-year-old decided to revert to his normal routine. He left the hotel and went to the Bangladesh Cricket Board’s national cricket academy in order to spend time with his friends and collect his belongings.  

One of those friends of course was Mustafizur Rahman. The left-arm bowler who is recovering from a surgery currently stays at the BCB’s academy. That’s where he is doing his rehabilitation exercises as well. Both Mustafizur and Mehedi have been playing together since the under 16 level. Coincidentally they both started their international careers with two five-wicket hauls in their first two respective matches. While Mustafizur scalped them against India in the ODIs, Mehedi got them against England in the Tests.

There’s no doubt that the England series was extremely special for Mehedi, who already seems to have sealed a spot in the Test side. However, at the same time it was quite special for Imrul Kayes as well. It’s because of his performance in this tour that there is a chance that he may go on to open for Bangladesh in all three formats.

Prior to the England series, he opened only in Tests. However, ever since his century in the limited overs warm-up game, he has become the first-choice opener in the ODIs as well. Whether Soumya Sarkar can comeback in the New Zealand series remains a question. And it therefore wasn’t a surprise to see an extremely happy Imrul speaking to the media today morning.

“You can’t compare this win to any other. This has been exceptional. And that’s the reason why we had exceptional celebrations as well. We all enjoyed last night,” said Imrul.

Imrul scored a crucial 78 in Bangladesh’s final innings and that helped the hosts build a platform for the middle order batsmen. While he couldn’t reach the three-figure mark, like he had done in the first ODI, he was extremely happy to have won the game.

“The fact that I am in the playing eleven and that we won, makes me feel extremely happy. I never look to score a half-century or a century. It’s always for the team. In that sense, I really enjoyed playing that knock yesterday,” said Imrul.  

Bangladesh manager and former national cricketer Khaled Mahmud also spoke to the media yesterday. Mahmud was the captain of the Bangladesh team that had toured Pakistan in 2003. He was the captain of the team that had almost beaten Pakistan in Multan. It was a game that the hosts had stolen from the Tigers.

Speaking to reporters at the hotel, Mahmud recalled that Test. He said that he was happy to be a part of a team, even though he isn’t a player anymore, which has finally beaten a top-ranked Test team.

The Bangladesh players were given permission to leave the team hotel and go back to their respective homes. Most of them are busy gearing up for the Bangladesh Premier League which is set to being on November 4.

The England team, on the other hand, is looking to book an early to India. They are looking for something tomorrow morning.

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