• Thursday, Nov 14, 2019
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Bishwanath rekindles tradition of long throw-in

  • Published at 10:03 pm September 7th, 2018
Bangladesh's Bishwanath Ghosh takes a throw-in during their Saff Championship match against Nepal in Dhaka Saturday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Bangladesh’s young gun Bishwanath Ghosh showed his skill once again as his long throw-in played as the instigating role for the solitary goal in their win against Pakistan Thursday

Throw-in may look like an innocuous thing, but many footballers over the years use this factor as an important weapon in their repertoire. 

Bangladesh’s young gun Bishwanath Ghosh showed his skill once again as his long throw-in played as the instigating role for the solitary goal in their win against Pakistan Thursday.

It was not the first instance for the young right-back as the 19-year old used his long throw-in as an assist for the goal that stunned Thailand and helped Bangladesh draw against the much stronger opponent in the Asian Games in Indonesia last month.

Those phenomena proved that the player regularly practised to hone his skill and the tradition is age-old in Bangladesh football. 

From 1987 to until his retirement in 1997, former national defender Alamgir Hassan, who was also a right-back, gained much popularity for his ability of long throw-ins which were rated as good as a corner-kick.

Alamgir spent most part of his career at Abahani Limited before moving to arch-rival Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited at the twilight of his career. 

Alamgir’s legacy was carried by Belal Ahmed, also a right-back, who mostly played for Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra, as he became the fans’ favourite for his “missile throw-ins” during his Dhaka League career until mid the 2000s.

“It was because of my long throw-ins which earned me popularity in football. I took long throw-ins on my first day on the pitch and the crowd quite enjoyed it. It continued to entertain the fans throughout my playing career,” said Alamgir to Dhaka Tribune over phone Friday before praising Bishwanath’s effort behind the goal the previous day.

“If you look at [Thursday] match, you see how a long throw-in can change the mode of the game. We at Abahani, also scored many goals from my throw-ins. These sometimes put the opponents in more critical situation than corners,” Alamgir added.

Many years after Alamgir and Belal’s epoch, Rayhan Hasan continued the legacy in taking long throw-ins for club and country. Rayhan’s long and accurate throw got Bangladesh a goal against Pakistan during the Saff Championship 2013 in Nepal.

Rayhan said, “I was inspired by Belal bhai when he played for Muktijoddha during a friendly tournament in Tangail in 2004. I was may be 10 years old then. I also watched his matches on TV.”

Rayhan and Bishwanath grew up in the same area. Rayhan, who is four years older than Bishwantah, is the mentor of the latter in the league of long throw-ins. 

“I learned it from Rayhan bhai, with whom I grew up in the same locality in Tangail. He used to train us. When I saw him taking such long throw-ins, I started following him,” said Bishwanath.

Bishwanath, one of the members of Sylhet’s BFF academy before playing for Victoria in the second tier and Mohammedan and Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra in the top-flight league, was also influenced by the game of former Chelsea player Branislav Ivanović. 

Rayhan also hailed Bishwanath for his effort. 

“He tried a lot. But it’s a matter of practice and it is not possible to get the best out of it without long-term practice. The more one practises it, the more one gets the ability to throw it deeper into the penalty area,” said Rayhan.

Bishwanath made his senior national team debut against Bhutan in their opening match in the Saff Championship 2018 and in his second match, Topu Barman scored a goal from his throw-in. Topu has the experience of playing alongside Rayhan previously.

“Rayhan has more power in his throw-ins and reaches deeper inside the box while Bishwanath’s efforts fell mostly at the near posts. But both gives us advantages in the opponents’ terrain,’ said Bangladesh’s goal-scorer against Pakistan.

Both head coach Jamie Day and assistant coach Stuart Watkiss reminded that it was Bishwanath’s defensive ability that earned him a place in the team but  the latter admitted those long throw-ins is a “bonus” for the side.

“It’s like a free crossing to the box, so we have to make the most of it and if we can score goals from it, that’s fantastic,” said Day after yesterday’s practice session. 

“We have been lucky enough to score a couple of goals from it. Obviously other teams have seen that now so you might have to change up a little bit,” he added.

Along with improving throw-in ability, Bishwanath, however wants to concentrate more on his defensive skills. 

“I had set myself a target to play for the senior national team this year and now I’m here. All I want now is to keep up the consistency and improve my performance,” concluded Bishwanath.