As a fan if you wish to talk to Aminul Islam, then you will be surprised to discover a very humble person devoid of superstar-like-attitude. There will be no ego, no avoidance and no harsh behaviour, but you will be welcomed cordially and in the course of time, you will discover that Aminul Islam is just like your elder brother who will always be there to listen to you and make feel very special.
Aminul Islam is one of the most fantastic willow-wielders Bangladesh cricket has ever produced. His technique was well-equipped and temperamentally, Aminul Islam was rock solid. He was never shy to execute the hook or pull shot against the pacers while his astute footwork against the spinners was a treat to watch and his batting always put him apart from the rest of his team-mates in those days when Bangladesh cricket was in an embryonic stage.
Aminul Islam is that cricketer from Bangladesh who alongside Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu, Akram Khan, Golam Nawsher Prince and Minhajul Abedin dreamed the most impossible dream when cricket had hardly any trace in Bangladesh.
Since the birth of Bangladesh, it was soccer, which had been the most relished sports in the country and throughout the 80s, soccer’s popularity was sky high.
But amid this massive popularity of soccer, people like Aminul Islam, Akram Khan, Minhajul Abedin and co. carried the hope of cricket on their responsible shoulders. There was no fund for cricket in those days, there was no cash earned while playing cricket, but still these wise guys never gave up playing cricket because they were extremely passionate about the game. They just loved the sport, and for Aminul Islam cricket was ‘oxygen.’
One day, their dream came true. Bangladesh played their first Test at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka and Aminul Islam became a part of Bangladesh cricket’s folklore.
Bangladesh’s first Test hundred came off his bat and it was the most jubilant moment not only for every Bangladeshi but for Aminul Islam as well. The critics and the press had written him off before Bangladesh’s inaugural Test match, but Aminul Islam is a person who is well at home in silencing the critics – a magical 145 was scripted and the critics ended up with eggs on their face.
But surprisingly, his critics didn’t let him sit comfortably. Definitely, for a young Test team to get mature enough, you need the experienced players in the team and Aminul Islam’s batting would have been invaluable in the truest sense of the word. Just when he was getting accustomed to Bangladesh cricket’s new environment, suddenly, he found himself ignored by the selectors.
Keeping in mind the 2003 World Cup, there had been suggestions from a section of the press to get rid of the seniors and build a team full of youngsters! Thus, suddenly, the iconic figure of Aminul Islam started to fade away from Bangladesh cricket. He was not even allowed to participate in the domestic competitions! How pathetic can selectors’ behaviour be towards such an icon!
Ignored by the Cricket Board and harsh press, a bruised Aminul Islam flew to Australia where he is a permanent citizen and started cricket coaching there. In Australia, Aminul Islam had gained enough knowledge regarding cricket coaching. He then had been the part of the Asian Cricket Council’s (ACC) developmental program where he and others were given the responsibility to promote cricket in countries China, Myanmar, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.
Aminul Islam took the responsibility of blooming flowers in China and so far, his immense hard work has paid off. In China, cricket is a revolution now. The Chinese have started to master this game.
Very recently, Aminul Islam has been made the tournament director of the ongoing Asia Cup. It has indeed been a well-justified reward for a man who has sharp knowledge of the game, who knows the intricacies of this sport very well and possesses enough international experience regarding cricket coaching and man management issues. Such people are an asset for any country. Any country would love to utilize his vast experience and knowledge for the well-being of their cricket.
But sadly, Bangladesh Cricket Board hardly bothered to recognize Aminul Islam’s knowledge and experience. Sadly, his enormous experience has never been utilized for the well-being of our cricket. But, does an icon like Aminul Islam deserve this? Shouldn’t his experience come extremely beneficial for our cricket? Not only his knowledge and experience, but his ability to nurture young cricketers would have helped our young guns immensely. His elder brother like presence would have been ideal in managing high egos in the team.
I firmly believe that Bangladesh cricket needs Aminul Islam. You can’t ignore that gardener who is accustomed to bloom beautiful flowers.