It was a shiny afternoon at Port of Spain and team Tigers was elated as they had defeated the Indian side in a crucial World Cup match in 2007 fixture. Three young cricketers paved the way for the victory that day and later they became the pioneer group in the history of Bangladeshi Cricket. Everybody living in this country and having a root in this land knows this trio – Tamim Iqbal Khan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan who scored 51,56* and 53 respectively. India was knocked out of the tournament as a consequence and the foreign media branded that incident as a world cup upset.
However, this trio alongside the man of the match from that particular event – Mashrafe Bin Mortaza became an inevitable part of their side for nearly one and half decades after that start. In the very next World Cup, another young-blood Mahmudullah Riyad contributed to another so-called ‘World Cup’ upset against England at Chattogram by building up a 58-run partnership with Shofiul Islam in the 9th wicket.
Subsequently, Riyad became the best finisher in the history of Bangladesh Cricket to date and he has the record for the highest number of World Cup hundreds (3) for any Bangladeshi Cricketer a trend which was also started by him in the 2015 World Cup against the same England. His contribution led Bangladesh to their first-ever Quarter-Finals in the history of this mega event. He made another ton against the runners-up of that tournament – New Zealand in the very next fixture. That unbeaten 128 runs inning remains his best figure in the ODI. His latest World Cup ton came against South Africa in this World Cup when he became the shield of the Bangladeshi batting line-up with his 111 runs out of the same amount of balls.
Mushfiq and Shakib were also the main characters in many heroic incidents. Think about the aforementioned match against India. Besides, Shakib Al Hasan was the 3rd most run-getter in the ICC World Cup 2019, hosted by England. With a staggering 86.57 average, this man scored 606 runs in that edition. Mushfiq also has a World Cup Hundred that came against mighty Australia in 2019, when he played an unbeaten 102 runs inning in 97 balls and became the third Bangladeshi to reach a three-digit figure in an ICC World Cup tournament.
Although, like every good thing on the Earth, the World Cup journey for Mahmudullah and Mushfiq probably ended on 11 October as 37-year-old Mahmullah may consider retirement within no time and maybe 36-year-old Mushfiqur can take this to the 2025 Champions Trophy. Shakib, who ended his World Cup career one match earlier due to injury may have a similar plan.
Unfortunately, team Tigers couldn’t manage to make their star trio’s last World Cup a memorable one like the 2015 edition. On the other hand, Mahmullah, the silent killer, remained the ace of his team. Even though he didn’t bat in the first match and was dropped out from the second game, he was the highest run scorer for Bangladesh. With a staggering 54.66 average, he scored 328 runs out of 7 innings. Besides, this man has garnered 944 runs in 24 innings from the 4 World Cup editions where he has participated. Which takes him to the 34th position in terms of most scorers in the entire history of the tournament. Interestingly, Mahmudullah started his career as a bowler and his inclusion in this edition was no less than a drama. Still, he finished his World Cup career with an average of 52.44 where his strike rate was 84.81. Aside from these records, he is also the third most run-getter among Bangladeshi players in World Cup history.
Shakib on the side put an end to his World Cup career with a spell-binding performance of 82 runs with the bat and 2 wickets with the ball against Sri Lanka. Another fun fact is, he got a fifty in his first-ever World Cup innings as well in 2007. However, the veteran all-rounder got only 186 runs in this edition whereas he scored 606 runs in the 2019 World Cup. If Shakib could have scored half of that total, he could have taken his career to another feat. Still, he is the 7th most run scorer in the ICC men’s ODI World Cup history with 1332 runs and 43 wickets beside his name and it makes him the top run-getter among Bangladeshi players in the history of the mega events. Throughout the five editions where Shakib was included in the squad, he played 36 innings and matches. His batting average is 41.62 and his bowling average is 36.07.
Another star cricketer Mushfiqur Rahim is the 19th most run scorer in the World Cup history and 2nd most in terms of his national side. Mr Dependable has got 1079 runs in 37 innings and by playing in 5 editions of the tournament. His batting average is 34.80. His last match was against Australia on 11 November where he scored 21 runs out of 24 balls.
Since, 34-year-old Tamim Iqbal’s next move is still unknown to everyone, Shakib, Riyad and Mushi’s farewell also means the end of the World Cup chapter for ‘Fabulous Five’ in the history of Bangladesh Cricket. Since, another champ Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has been out of the national side for the last 4 years.