Indomitable Marufa ticks all boxes, picks Pandya as role model  

Marufa (L) and Joty during the press conference on Thursday. Photo: Star

Marufa Akter, the new face of Bangladesh women's cricket team, appears to be a star in the making.

Simplicity simply twinkles in her eyes and the youngster exuberates confidence of an athlete brimming with supreme self-belief and top-level aspirations.  

It is quite common for any sportsperson, regardless of age, to have butterflies in their maiden appearance in front of cameras. And even though Marufa did not seem to be devoid of nervous energy, the 17-year-old echoed raw confidence in the press conference in Mirpur yesterday.

Asked who is her role model in cricket, Marufa was quick to name India's Hardik Pandya, the fast-bowling all-rounder who fits the rare profile that any team in the world would want in their ranks at the moment.  

Marufa's justification of selecting Pandya speaks volumes of her character, on and off the field.

"He [Pandya] is like me, that's why," Marufa explained her pick with a one-liner.

Her captain Nigar Sultana Joty -- sitting beside her with the apparent expression that resembles a proud elder sibling -- was telling the reporters about how Marufa's swing bowling, her superior fielding skills, coupled with the ability to possess courage and engage as a team player, combine to make her an asset for the Tigresses.

Bangladesh are set to play the ICC T20 Women's World Cup Qualifier, pitted against Ireland, Scotland and USA in their group, in the United Arab Emirates later this month.   

Marufa arrived at the national team having lit the domestic circuit. She emerged Dhaka Premier League's player-of-the-tournament with 23 wickets at 3.21 runs per over in 11 matches, boasting a seven-wicket-haul in one of the outings. The right-arm quick then backed her performance in the National Cricket League in Sylhet last month by becoming the second-highest wicket-taker with 13 scalps in seven matches, with an impressive economy-rate of 2.76 runs per over.

Former Bangladesh men's national cricketer and the Tigresses' chief selector, Manjurul Islam, also addressed Marufa's batting prowess, fitted for the shortest format, at the crucial number six-seven position. Marufa, thus, made the cut to the national side purely based on her cricketing skills and she now finds herself boarding a plane for the first time as the Tigresses departed for Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

Marufa grew up playing cricket with her elder brother, who encouraged her to become a cricketer. Once the Bangladesh squad was announced, he was the first one to receive the news from Marufa. Her journey, so far, emanates sheer inspiration. During the coronavirus epidemic, she had to plough with her father to keep the poverty-stricken family from falling apart.

Photo: Collected

Marufa promised her father of making it big, in an attempt to convince him to allow her to take up the sport. Later the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) stood by Marufa, got her enrolled at BKSP, and that inspired her to expand the horizon of ambition further.

Now the stage is set for the girl from Nilphamari, a district in northern Bangladesh which has drawn attention in the country's sporting sphere with the sustained success of archer Diya Siddique. 


৪১ মিনিট আগে|শিক্ষা

এইচএসসি ও সমমানের পরীক্ষা ১৭ আগস্ট থেকে

এ বছরের এইচএসসি ও সমমানের পরীক্ষার রুটিন প্রকাশ করেছে মাধ্যমিক ও উচ্চমাধ্যমিক শিক্ষা বোর্ড।