Imrul Kayes has provided successful partnerships alongside Tamim Iqbal © Getty Images
Imrul Kayes has provided successful partnerships alongside Tamim Iqbal © Getty Images

Born February 2, 1987, Imrul Kayes is one of Bangladesh’s talented opening batsmen and over the years has provided successful partnerships alongside Tamim Iqbal. Just when Bangladesh were seeking for a suitable opening partner with Tamim, Kayes sealed the position post his impressive performance in the Academy’s tour to Sri Lanka. Kayes turning point in cricket arrived when he struck his maiden Test century in 2014 at Chittagong. On his 30th birthday, here are some intriguing and facts about the southpaw:

Beginning of cricketing career: Where most of the cricketers understand their love for cricket at a very later stage, Kayes was always inclined towards it. He played First-Class and List A career for Khulna Division in 2006-07. He also played for Victoria Sporting Club along with Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim and Robiul Islam at the same time. Kayes was bought by Sylhet Royals in BPL in 2012, now playing for Comilla Victorians. Being the leading run-scorer for the side, he claimed a position in Bangladesh Academy team. He got a call up for the national side in 2008 and since then he has played for Bangladesh across formats..

Records in dual role: It was a historic match that ended in a draw, thanks to Kayes and Tamim’s centuries. The series against Pakistan in 2015 at Khulna saw them register a record opening partnership of 312 runs. It still remains as the best opening wicket partnership from Bangladesh. In the recent series against New Zealand, Kayes even kept the wickets in the first Test as their captain Mushfiqur was injured. He achieved yet another record of the first substitute wicketkeeper to take 5 catches in Test cricket. As the saying goes, one man’s loss is another man’s gain.

Strange BPL 2015 controversy: We have heard several controversies in cricket. This game saw a rather strange incident. In a match between Comilla Victorians and Chittagong Vikings in BPL 2015, there was much drama. Kayes, in the second over chasing 137, bumped into Tillakaratne Dilshan while running for a quick single. Dilshan failed to throw the stumps down as Kayes and Ahmed Shehzad ran for a single. While trying to collect the throw, Dilshan tripped Kayes who fell in a heap.

The stumps were broken at the non-strikers end but Kayes protested for obstruction. However, Tamim, the captain of Chittagong stepped in to calm the situation. The event was referred to the third umpire Anisur Rahman who awarded 5 penalty runs to Comilla based on Law 42 (5) after watching the action several times.

Imrul Kayes and acting? In 2015 Kayes acted in a play called Phoolkumari (Princess of the Flower). He portrayed the role of a cricketer. His co-actor Barkatullah claimed that Imrul was the perfect fit for the role. Apart from dual roles in cricket, he is multi-talented as well.

From Salman Khan to Giorgio Armani: A list is never complete without mentioning the cricketer’s favourites. Kayes is a massive fan of Sylvester Stallone and Salman Khan. He has watched every single movie of these actors. He also loves listening to Arijit Singh and Shreya Ghoshal in his free time.

As for food, it is hands down khichdi and beef for him. He adores his mother’s ‘firni’. Where his loyalty lies towards Giorgio Armani for perfumes. Kayes also loves to try latest car models. And coming to his bread and butter, cricket, his favourite shot is the cover drive.

Sports, etc: Every cricketer has learnt other games and then realised they were made for cricket. Kayes has always been inclined towards cricket and loves to play football in his off-time. He also loves watching tennis and supports Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova. He also watches Ana Ivanovic, Roger Federer and Serena Williams’ matches. In football, he admires Cristiano Ronaldo’s ability and fashion. His favourite cricketers are fellow opener Tamim and Kumar Sangakkara.

Family and Religion: Kayes is very religious and carries The Quran everywhere. He ensures to read it on regular basis. Kayes also idolises his father. He loved spending Eid with his family and in an interview, he mentioned that he misses the childhood days where Eid meant family gatherings.

Kayes or ‘Sagor’? We have heard of ‘Jumbo’, ‘Rawalpindi Express’, ‘The Reverend’, ‘Mahi’ and much more. Not many were aware that Kayes is sometimes shown on score sheets by his nickname ‘Sagor’. On his Facebook account as well, his name is spelt as ‘Imrul Kayes Sagor.’