rajin saleh
Rajin Saleh (AFP Photo)

Rajin Saleh will play his final professional match at the ongoing National Cricket League (NCL), Bangladesh’s domestic first-class competition, following which he will retire from all forms.

Saleh, who made his international debut in 2003, made the announcement on Day 1 of Bangladesh’s first Test against Zimbabwe being underway at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium from Saturday.

Saleh, a right-handed batsman, played 24 Tests and 43 ODIs between 2003 and 2008.

“I would like to thank my Almighty first. Thanks to his blessings I could play cricket for 22 years. You know that I have played for Bangladesh for six years. I will play my last match on 5th of this month in an NCL game and after that I will retire,’ Rajin told reporters at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.

He continued “I would like to thank the media without whom I could not have become Rajin Saleh… You have made me Rajin Saleh and I am very much grateful to you all. My family was always with me along. I seek all of your prayers.”

Saleh’s first foray in international cricket came when Bangladesh made their Test debut against India in 2000. He came in as a substitute fielder, claiming two catches including that of batting legend Sachin Tendulkar.

“I think this is the right time,” Rajin was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “I want to give back to cricket in the Sylhet region. I want to produce more batsmen. A second generation of batsmen hasn’t developed after myself, Alok (Kapali) and (Imtiaz Hossain) Tanna. We have a number of good pace bowlers like (Abu Jayed) Rahi and Khaled (Ahmed), but we need to produce more batsmen for Bangladesh team.”

In Tests, Saleh scored 1141 runs at 25.93 with seven half-centuries. He also captained Bangladesh in ODIs in which he scored 1005 runs including a century and six fifties.