Special Report of Olympia
✍️ Biswajit Barman
The entire sports community has been living indoors due to the ongoing lockdown. The sports community of Assam is no exception. In this time of crisis and difficulties, Olympiasports.in has brought Abu Nechim Ahmed, a talented cricketer, a right-arm fast bowler from Assam to have a Facebook Live interaction with the young cricketing talents of the state. Abu Nechim has revealed quite interesting things about his career as a cricketer during the Facebook Live conversation.
Abu Nechim has been a familiar face in the domestic cricket circuit. He was a part of the Indian National Under-19 Cricket Team and was able to put up a performance worth mentioning in different series, along with the Under-19 World Cup, Asia Cup and many more, yet he was not able to secure a National Cap.
During the Facebook Live from Olympiasports.in, he said – ‘In 2005, I was able to provide very good performance n the Junior India Cricket. In each and every series and tournament whether it was World Cup or Asia Cup, I was the highest or second highest wicket taker. My performance in the domestic circuit was also quite good during that period. My teammates like Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja was able to secure a spot in the National Team, one after another. I was disappointed for not able to make the cut even after my performances were pretty good. This also influenced my decision to join the ICL.’
Abu Nechim was a regular in the IPL – the elite tournament of BCCI, for a good number of seasons. While taking questions from his fans, about the times he spent in the IPL, Abu Nechim shared some of his memorable moments. One of such moment was the time when his team Mumbai Indians became the IPL champion.
During the New Zealand tour as a member of the Indian Under-19 team, he met the Little Mater Sachin Tendulkar, for the very first time. For Abu Nechim, that was the best moment of his cricketing career.
Again, while playing in the IPL for Mumbai Indians, he got the opportunity to share the same dressing room with the Master Blaster. He was able to bold Gautam Gambhir in Kolkata, and it was Sachin Tendulkar who gave him the tips necessary to take the wicket of the southpaw.
He is quite optimistic that the time is not very far when cricketers from Assam will be able to get selection for the Indian National Cricket Team. Abu Nechim is quite confident that the likes of Riyan Parag, Mukhtar Hussain, Mrinmoy Dutta will be able to secure a spot in the Men in Blue. In his words – ‘One has to put a huge amount of effort to get a call from the National side. I have been a part of every division of cricket except the National Team. Hence my efforts are still very strong to get a place in the National Team. Cricketers from Assam will get selection for the National Team very soon. There are many talented players in Assam. It is very necessary for them to have adequate coaching as well as taking part in lots and lots of domestic and club level matches, so that their skill set get polished. There are Riyan Parag, Mukhtar Hussain and also Mrinmoy Dutta in the junior cricket. I have faith in them that one day one of them will be selected to play for the National Team.’
In his ongoing cricketing career, Abu Nechim has got the opportunity to meet and spend time with many cricketing legends from around the world. During his Facebook Live from Olympiasports.in, he shared one such instance when he learned from the Sri Lankan speedster and one of the all time best bowlers Lasith Malinga, while he was playing for the Mumbai Indians. Malinga shared many tricks of bowling with him and those helped Abu Nechim in taking wickets both in domestic circuit and in the IPL.
Abu Nechim shared two incidents from his cricketing career as some of the best memorable moments. First one is from Junior Cricket, when he took seven wickets against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup final and the second one when he took a hat-trick against Goa in domestic cricket.
During this interaction, Abu Nechim also suggested the young and budding cricketers from the state to pay more and more attention to fitness. Fitness is key element while getting selection to play international cricket. To secure a place in the Indian Senior side, one has to put more and more focus and hard work in practice, have mental strength and play lots and lots of matches. According to him, yoga can be very helpful to build a strong mental setup. Overall performances have to be good to draw the attention of the selectors. In this context, Abu Nechim spoke very highly of Riyan Parag and said that he is a very hard working cricketer.
In the context of Assam Cricket, he was of the opinion that in the last two years the performances of Assam in the domestic circuit has gone through a rough patch as the team did not include players from outside the state. He is hopeful that the team will perform better in the upcoming season. The team has managed to give an organized shape to both its batting and bowling department. While replying to question during the Facebook Live, he also added that the strong pillars of Assam Cricket Team are bowling and fielding and the weak ones are losing wickets in a row and the inability to perform under pressure. In his own words – ‘The pace bowling department of Assam Cricket is very strong. There are quite a few good pacers in the team which includes me, Krishna Das, Arup Das and Mukhtar Hussain. Spin bowling is also strong. Fielding department of Team Assam is far better in comparison to other state teams. All the 11 players are good fielders. I have not seen such in case of other teams. The weaker side of our team is the falling of wickets in a row, many a times two to three wickets consecutively. Once we start to tackle this issue, we will be able to climb the ladder. Along with that, difficulty in performing under pressure is another weakness that the team has to improve to get better results.’