‘Nameless’ 12th man grabs Bangladesh’s attention
For the cricket fans in general, it was surprising to see a formidable Test side like New Zealand suffer a batting collapse in the manner they did against England in the Lord's Test yesterday, and that too after having elected to bat first. However, when it came to the Bangladeshi audiences, one incident during the end of the visitors' innings perhaps had warranted a higher element of surprise.
As the home side were busy clean-sweeping the Kiwis' tail and were on the verge of completion as batter Colin de Grandhomme delaying the inevitable for New Zealand, on 116 for nine after 37 overs, England suffered a injury blow to one of their star performers of the day – Mathhew Potts, who grabbed a four-fer alongside veteran seamer James Anderson.
Potts had to leave the field after two deliveries in the 38th over of innings and captain Ben Stokes took over the proceedings. England were cruising but the injury to Potts had presented them a somewhat strange problem.
The problem was that England, who named a 13-member squad for the Test series, had all two of their substitute fielders -- Harry Brook and Craig Overton -- on the field at the time before Potts left the field with discomfort. And when Stuart Broad had to go back to dressing room as well, for a breather however, in came Essex's Robin James Das, alongside Nikhil Gorantla as reinforcements for the 12th man, wearing the whites without a name or a number.
Born in England's Leytonstone, Robin happens to share Bangladeshi roots since his father, Mridul Das, hails from Sunamganj of the Sylhet division. The 20-year-old's elder brother, Jonathan Joy Das, aged 28, also played for Essex as a wicketkeeper-batter.
Interestingly, Robin was listed in the players' draft during the latest edition of the Bangladesh Premier League, a franchise-based T20 tournament, after the youngster had impressed many with a double-century knock while playing for Essex Under-16 in 2018.
In the end, yesterday, Robin's day out in the field at the iconic Lord's cricket ground only lasted four deliveries as the 'Bangladeshi' boy had to sign off once Broad got back in the middle. New Zealand were all out soon afterwards, on 132, but later the game swung away from the home side's favour as the Kiwis' blitz in dying light had the England batters in tatters.