Leg-spinners around the world are ruling the roost in the shortest format of the game. In the T20I ranking, five of the top seven bowlers are leggies in the shape of Shadab Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ish Sodhi, Samuel Badree and Imran Tahir.
In ODIs, leg-break bowler Rashid Khan is second in the ranking. In the T20 leagues across the globe, demand is high for the wrist-spinners with the aforementioned cricketers dominating most of the headlines.
But as far as Bangladesh cricket is concerned, the country lack a wrist-spinner to compete against those from the other countries who are basking in adulation.
In 2014, the Tigers had discovered a prospect in the art of wrist-spin in the form of Jubair Hossain. However, the raw talent barely made any improvement and lasted only around a year in the international circuit after playing six Test matches, three ODIs and a solitary T20I.
Soon, even the domestic sides started losing confidence with the bowler. The dressing rooms were too scared to take risk with a leg-spinner, for the simple fact that such spinners can be expensive on a given day.
As a result, Jubair initially warmed the bench on most occasions but within a season or two, the situation worsened. The teams did not even want him in the team. Let it be the 22-year old’s form or his tendency to not listen to instructions, Jubair was slowly scratched off the menu.
With no platform to fight back, Jubair is now running a battle of his own – working in the nets under the supervision of former leg-spinner Humayun Kabir.
“First thing is, I would have never been chosen in the national team if I did not have the talent. The selectors and the coaches back then must have seen something in me and thus I got the opportunity. It might have been that I was not a hard-worker, not polished, and was not good in listening to instructions. Now I understand my mistakes, getting dropped from the national team made me realise,” Jubair explained his situation to the media at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Sunday.
Jubair had built up expectation through his consistent performance in Tests. The leg-spinner in six Tests bagged 16 wickets, including a five-for against Zimbabwe. The team management was confident with him and soon got him to play the shorter formats. However, this only lasted a while.
“Almost all the teams now have leg-spinners and all of them are doing really well. I feel upset with myself at times but to be honest the time has not finished for me yet. If I try, I can get back. And if given the opportunity, I will try to give my best for the team,” said Jubair.
Jubair is happy with the fact that the BCB is putting on a rare effort to back him. The facilities in Mirpur are only reserved for the cricketers in the national team or the pipeline. The board however, has allowed Jubair to use the nets in the academy ground, which hints that the bowler has not been completely ruled out of the minds of the concerned authority.
“Selection totally depends on the board, what I can do is work hard and I am doing that. The board is supporting me and whatever decision they take, they will do it for my betterment. I am working to improve and if given chance I will try to live upto expectation,” said Jubair.