Sports, Cricket

Nasir, Sabbir: Lost gems of Bangladesh cricket

Published : 08 Feb 2024 09:08 PM

Nasir Hossain and Sabbir Rahman were considered the next big superstars in Bangladesh cricket's white-ball formats for a significant portion of the past ten years. 

With his quick reflexes, quick fielding, and cunning bowling, Nasir was a fantastic all-around player who quickly won over the supporters. On the other hand, Sabbir amazed everyone with his innate ability to hit boundaries and take on quick bowlers. Adding to that, his occasional leg-spin bowling and fielding also made him a pivotal team player. 

However, Nasir and Sabbir have now joined the long list of bright prospect in Bangladesh cricket who were unable to fulfill their promise. For all the wrong reasons, Nasir was once again in the public eye on Tuesday among the nation's sports lovers. The 32-year-old was fined two years and six months by the ICC for breaking the ICC Anti-Corruption Code in 2021 while participating in the Abu Dhabi T10 League. 

Nasir was found guilty of receiving an iPhone 12 as a gift and failing to report it to the ICC's Anti-Corruption Unit. Now, the all-roundercannot get back into cricket before April 7, 2025. Even while it is disappointing, Nasir's suspension wasn't shocking as he has a history of becoming involved in off-field controversies. In fact, Nasir writes more headlines about his personal life than about cricket. The turmoil in his personal life inevitably affected his performance on the field, and a series of injuries made the situation even worse. 

The all-rounder has not played a game for the Tigers since 2018 and will soon be 34 by the time his ICC suspension ends, making it even more unlikely that he will not wear the Bangladesh jersey again. 

Around the time Nasir first fell out of favor with his national team, Sabbir came into the fold. Sabbir had many ardent supporters, the most notable perhaps being former captain Mashrafee bin Mortaza, who remained loyal to him for a long time despite sporadic results. However, over time, the right-hander became embroiled in controversies that derailed his progress. Sabbir was fined by the BCB for allegedly entertaining a female guest in his hotel room during the 2016 Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). A year later, he received a six-month ban from domestic cricket for punching a fan in the stands, and in 2018 he received a similar ban from international cricket for insulting a fan online. 

The 32-year-old batsman is currently not attracting the attention of the national team. He has not been part of the Bangladesh team since October 2022 and  is currently playing in an amateur league in the United States.

The careers of Nasir and Sabbir, who were in the same age group, are a perfect example of how  lack of discipline and off-field shenanigans can seriously derail a cricketer's career. Their careers also highlight the importance of cricketers preparing in a timely manner for the big stage of international cricket so that they are not blinded by the fame and fortune that comes with the Bangladesh jersey.