Jubair Hossain Likhon, one of the very few leg-spinners in this country, has fallen out of favor long ago. He doesn't even feature regularly in domestic cricket. Since October 8, 2018, Jubair has played only five matches in competitive cricket.
But the 25-year old doesn't give up. He hits the gym regularly, sweats it out in the practice sessions, and keeps himself ready. He last played a first-class match in 2019 in the National Cricket League (NCL) where there is the best chance of him getting picked. But no team showed interest in him last year.
The wait is finally over for the leg-spinner. He has been picked by Partex Sporting Club in the ongoing Dhaka Premier League (DPL). He made his first appearance in competitive cricket in 18 months on Saturday when he played against Old DOHS. Jubair bowled exceedingly well with no luck in his comeback game, giving away only 15 runs in three overs.
Jubair told The Business Standard, "It's great to be back. I've got an opportunity to play a match after so many days. Before that, I practised at Bangla Track Cricket Academy where (Khaled Mahmud) Sujon Sir was there. I was confident that I would do well if given a chance."
Jubair doesn't want to relax one bit now. "I have just started. There are plenty of matches left in the tournament. There is no way I can relax now. I will try to do well in the upcoming matches. I have been preparing myself mentally for this."
Jubair was away from action for a long time but kept himself motivated. "I was out of the scene for a long time. I didn't play any matches but kept on practising. I worked with Sujon Sir at Bangla Track. I also worked with my coach Humayun Kabir Shahin," mentioned Jubair.
"Many people have been supporting me. Mushfiq Bhai (Mushfiqur Rahim) always supports me. He messaged me yesterday after the match. Sujon Sir, Mushfiq Bhai, Shahin Bhai, Rajon Bhai (Partex coach Rezaul Islam) are helping me a lot. They always had high hopes on me, they still have," he added.
When Partex played Mohammedan Sporting Club earlier in the tournament, Jubair wasn't picked. Shakib Al Hasan, the Mohammedan captain, was wondering why he wasn't picked. "He needs to play. We need him," said Shakib. That inspired Jubair: "It feels great when someone of Shakib Bhai's stature says this. It's very inspiring."
The first specialist leg-spinner to play Tests for Bangladesh, Jubair Hossain doesn't want to sink into oblivion. He hasn't got many opportunities in international cricket. But he has only himself to blame for this as he didn't work hard as much as he should've done. The leg-spinner understands that very well and will be keen to make a strong case for himself.