Towhid Hridoy is probably the hottest name in the Bangladesh cricket fraternity right now. And that's all due to his brilliant performances. His ODI and T20I debut has made him a hero already. But Hridoy didn't have the greatest of starts in cricket.
Born in Bogra on December 4, 2000, this batter was scammed after coming to Dhaka in 2013 with the dream of becoming a big cricketer. He had to pay a lot of money after joining a fake cricket club in Banashree in the city. And he wanted to leave cricket.
But he didn't stop. Inspired by his mother, Hridoy sealed his place in the age-level team. The right-handed batter, who took part in competitive cricket for the first time for Shinepukur Cricket Club, played in the 2018 U-19 World Cup. He was a member of the World Cup-winning side in his second mission in 2020. He then played domestic cricket, and lastly, BPL's performance brought him under the national team's lights.
Hridoy had a dream ODI debut on Saturday, becoming the highest runscorer for Bangladesh on debut. His 92-run innings helped Bangladesh post a mammoth first innings total and eventually clinch their biggest-ever ODI win by runs. He also became the first Bangladeshi batter to be the man of the match on his debut.
On a such glorious day, Hridoy talked about his dark past, with a smile on his face.
"When I went to the academy, I actually lost a lot of things. Then for a while, I had no desire to play cricket. There was no support from the family. My dad was supportive, even though he didn't understand the game. When I insisted with mother, she tried as much as she could. At one point I didn't want to play. At that time, Sujon sir (Khaled Mahmud Sujon) actually brought me from there when I was playing under-16 and he actually gave me a chance," Hridoy said.
Hriday got called up to the national team after his remarkable performance in BPL. His parents' happiness knew no bounds. But Hridoy said his mother was happier.
"Of course, every parent's reaction is supposed to be good (on getting called up for the national side). My parents were also happy. My mother in particular was a little overjoyed. My family always pressured me to study, I was not very focused on my studies. I stayed in the field most of the time. Alhamdulillah, my parents are happy, and relatives around me are also happy," he added.
Hridoy considers Mushfiqur Rahim his idol. And he started dreaming of playing for the national team after seeing Mushfiq.
"Mushfiq Bhai... I was very young, this was during the 2007 World Cup. Mushfiq Bhai got a stump in the World Cup win against India. One day, I saw Mushfiq Bhai's stump in a program, and I was very inspired. I dreamt of playing for the national team since then," Hridoy concluded.