Bangladesh paceman Taskin Ahmed admitted that it was a difficult decision to turn down the IPL offer from the Lucknow Super Giants last year. However, the right-arm speedster understood that the team needed him and had to perform well for them.
The Super Giants contacted Taskin to have him as a replacement for the injured Mark Wood; however, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) denied him the NOC. The board’s cricket operations chairman, Jalal Yunus, justified the decision, stating that Bangladesh needed the 26-year-old’s services for the important series against South Africa and Sri Lanka.
Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, the Dhaka-born pacer revealed that the Super Giants contacted him during the ODI series in South Africa and explained his thoughts leading into the third game at Centurion.
“I got a call from Lucknow Super Giants during that ODI series – I was denied the NOC. We had Tests against South Africa at the time. Everyone dreams of playing in the IPL. I was a little sad about missing the opportunity. I told myself that I have to keep my focus on playing for the national team,” he said.
“I was overthinking the night before the third ODI, the series-deciding match,” he added. “I kept thinking, if I play badly in the third game, the public will think that I played badly because of not getting the NOC. If I did well, I would be satisfied that I did well in this situation.”
Although Taskin started his spell with two wides in his opening over, he finished with five wickets as Bangladesh skittled the Proteas for 154 at Centurion. Later, skipper Tamim Iqbal made short work of the total as his unbeaten 87 gave the tourists their first series win in South Africa in any format.
“Legends like Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Wasim Akram are my heroes” – Taskin Ahmed
Taskin Ahmed further revealed that he aspires to be counted among the legendary bowlers once he finishes his career. He added:
“Legends like Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee and Wasim Akram are my heroes. Bowlers like Shaheen Shah Afridi, Kagiso Rabada, Jasprit Bumrah and Josh Hazlewood, these guys will become legends by the end of their careers. I want to be regarded how they are regarded. There’s no point in working hard if I can’t reach that level. I have to take myself to their level.”
The recent T20 series against England saw Taskin take four wickets in three matches as Bangladesh won it 3-0.