Mahmudullah: 10 interesting things to know about the first Bangladeshi to score a World Cup ton

Born February 4, 1986, Mohammad Mahmudullah Riyad, popularly known as Mahmudullah, is a dependable Bangladeshi all-rounder. Mahmudullah usually bats lower in the order and bowls off-spin. After a decent domestic performance for Dhaka division and central zone, Mahmudullah earned a place in the national squad in 2007 and has not looked back ever since. On his birthday, Paulami Chakraborty picks 10 interesting things to know about the skilful all-rounder.

1. Life before cricket: Mahmudullah hails from Mymensingh, situated 115 km away from Dhaka. He grew up and learned the basics of cricket there, and then moved to Dhaka once he was called up for the Under-19 Asia Cup Squad in the year 2000.

2. From an off-spinner to middle-order batsman: Mahmudullah had started off his career as an off-break bowler, but has since been utilised more as a middle-order batsman.

3. Mohammad Riyad: Cricketers are addressed mostly by their first names or their surnames. However, Mahmudullah is neither his first nor last name but his middle name.

4. First-Class debut: Mahmudullah is one of the few players who impressed on First-Class debut. He made his debut for Bangladesh A against the A team of hosts Zimbabwe. Mahmudullah scored 55 in the first innings and 42 in the second innings, and emerged as the joint Man of the Match alongside Raqibul Hasan.

5. International Debut: Mahmudullah made his debut in international cricket in the third One-Day International (ODI) of Bangladesh’s tour of Sri Lanka in 2007. It was the final ODI and Mahmudullah scored 36; one of only three Bangladesh batsmen to get to double-digit scores. He also picked up two wickets, including Tillakaratne Dilshan.

6. Test Debut: Mahmudullah made his Test debut in and against West Indies in 2009. He took 3 wickets in the first innings and a five-wicket haul in the second innings.

7. Highest score at No. 7: Mahmudullah, in the year 2012, created a record as he scored an unbeaten 75 against Zimbabwe in the third ODI at Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo. He got the highest score for a Bangladesh batsman in ODIs batting at No. 7. He still holds the record.

8. Brilliant performance in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Mahmudullah created many records in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. He became the first Bangladesh player to score a World Cup century when he scored 103 against England and helped Bangladesh earn their ticket to the quarter-final. He then scored an unbeaten 128 in the next match against New Zealand, becoming the second Bangladesh player to hit consecutive ODI centuries and first to do in a World Cup tournament. He also emerged as the highest individual run-getter for Bangladesh in the 2015 World Cup.

9. Team-mate and family member: Mahmudullah married Jannatul Kawsar Mishti in the year 2011. Mishti’s younger sister got married to Mahmudullah’s team-mate Mushfiqur Rahim., thus making them in-laws.

10. The MS Dhoni of Bangladesh: There are two inspirations in Mahmudullah’s life: his elder brother and Indian captain MS Dhoni. His team-mates are aware of the fact and Mahmudullah is often called ‘Mahi’ by them. He was such an admirer of Dhoni that when Dhoni started using pink grips, Mahmudullah also opted for the same.

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)