/Imrul Kayes bides his time as the opener-in-waiting

Imrul Kayes bides his time as the opener-in-waiting

READY TO BACK UP

Imrul Kayes is currently participating in a 30-member elite camp organised by BCB to prepare a back-up pool for the World Cup squad

Imrul Kayes is currently participating in a 30-member elite camp organised by BCB to prepare a back-up pool for the World Cup squad © Getty

Bangladesh’s out of favour opener Imrul Kayes, who isn’t a part of their 15-member provisional World Cup squad, looks to have made his peace with destiny but remains hopeful and ready to join the World Cup squad if and when the need arises.

Joining the national squad at a later stage of a multi-nation tournament looks to have become some kind of destiny for Kayes. He hadn’t played an international match for six months when he replaced an injured Tamim Iqbal in the 2018 Asia Cup, and was also a late inclusion in Bangladesh’s squad for the 2015 World Cup. He was called in for Anamul Haque, who got injured during Bangladesh’s third game against Scotland.

Even for this edition of the World Cup in England, he seems to be in the fray. Bangladesh Cricket Board recently introduced an elite camp comprising of 30 top performers in the just-concluded Dhaka Premier League (DPL) as they wanted them to be ready in case replacements for the World Cup might be required.

Despite not being a top performer in the DPL, Kayes’s inclusion in the 30-member elite camp indicates that he is not totally out of the national selection radar considering his immense experience in international cricket. Imrul said that he is enjoying his time in the camp and insisted on how ready he is ready to take his chances when they come.

“Its good for me that I have been practising my skills here. If the opportunity arrives, I will be available to play in any situation and any condition for the team,” Kayes said. “Listen, it’s not easy to handle the pressure if you call someone suddenly but this camp will help you to prepare yourself. It’s difficult to play well on a sudden call up.

“Fitness required in an international match and in a domestic league match are totally different. I think those of us who are called up in this camp are very lucky because if someone gets injured, players will be called up from here. That’s why we have taken this camp seriously.”

Imrul can call his non-selection unlucky considering the two centuries and a 90-plus score he made in the three-match series against Zimbabwe but was left out as soon as he failed in two successive matches against the West Indies in the home series that followed.

The 32-year-old also revealed how he refused a county stint to be available for the World Cup. He said that rejections help him understand life from a different perspective, which come in handy when he’s actually playing for the country.

“When someone comes and goes in the squad, that helps him to realise a lot of things. I learn and realise the situation a lot when I am out of the team. I can also apply those things when I am in the squad. I think it’s good for me and it doesn’t discourage me at all,” Kayes concluded.

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