'Remember the name Rubel'
From those deadly in-swinging yorkers to the brutal pace which surprised almost all of Bangladesh's opponents, Rubel Hossain has provided fans with several moments to cherish in this World Cup. It was a complete turnaround to the dismal phase he went through prior to the World Cup. He spoke to The Daily Star yesterday regarding those crucial moments in the mega event and what he plans to take with him to his deathbed.
TDS: Do you feel like a hero after your arrival?
Rubel: (laughs) No; I am not a hero. But to defeat England and to go on to the quarterfinals; that was a dream come true and I am proud that we achieved it. I feel as though life is really good at the moment.
TDS: What were you thinking before your last over against England?
Rubel: I was telling myself that this was that one opportunity to change a lot of things for Bangladesh's cricket. For some reason there was this urge within me to prove to the people of my country that I can create a difference. I wanted to tell them that Rubel Hossain could make the difference. I was desperately waiting for a chance like that and once I got it; I wanted to take full advantage. That is one over I will never forget in my life. I think I'll even take it to my deathbed!
TDS: You were one of the fastest bowlers of the tournament. Did you focus a lot on speed?
Rubel: See, I have my strengths and my weaknesses. My strength is that I bowl fast, although that's not what I concentrated on in the World Cup, but yes I did bowl quick. I tried to focus more on my line and length. After going there I practiced a lot, especially death over bowling. When we went to Australia we realised that the wickets were not how we expected and so we had a lot of meetings and all that analysis helped me.
TDS: What was your most memorable experience in this World Cup?
Rubel: Obviously the time when we beat England and that last over. I also enjoyed the fact that no team in the World Cup underestimated us or treated us like a small team. This Bangladesh team is not like before; it's different. No one thought we were an underdog. We proved that when we almost beat New Zealand in the group stage.
TDS: You seemed very happy when you got Virat Kohli out…
Rubel: He is a top-class player; in another level altogether, but I always believed that I could get his wicket. I have been playing him since the Under 19 level. There was nothing personal in my aggression against him. Although there was a time when we had our exchanges; but all that is just cricket.
TDS: Do you think you can put in a similar performance against Pakistan?
Rubel: I will want to continue this run of mine. I believe that as a team we can beat Pakistan next month. It will be a very good gift to our fans.
TDS: You had a rough time prior to the World Cup. Are you glad with the turnaround?
Rubel: My life did go through a huge storm before the World Cup and I don't want to talk about it. But I never really had those things on my mind when I played cricket. I just wanted to do something so that the people of Bangladesh could remember the name Rubel Hossain!