Fast bowler Rejaur Rahman Raja has earned his maiden call-up to the Bangladesh Test team. The 22-year fast bowler from Sylhet has been in decent form with the ball and is one of the three pacers in the team's 16-man squad for the first Test against Pakistan.
Raja has picked up 12 wickets in three matches for the Sylhet Division in the ongoing National Cricket League (NCL). In 10 first-class matches, Raja has 33 wickets and has a good bowling average of 24.3. Against Khulna in the NCL, Raja registered an eight-wicket haul in the match.
"It all started from tape-tennis cricket," said Raja. "A cricket-ball tournament was hosted in our locality and I participated in that. There I was told by seniors that I was good enough to practice in the stadium. Then I went to the stadium and that gave me a belief that I would do well in top-level cricket."
"Playing at this level is always challenging but I love to take challenges. I was inspired by (Abu Jayed) Rahi bhai, Ebadot (Hossain) bhai and Khaled (Ahmed) bhai [all of them play for Sylhet]. I got a lot of motivation from them and that inspired me to be a fast bowler," the pacer said.
Raja said that preserving his energy until the end of the day's play is his strong point. "I enjoy Test cricket. I have done well in domestic first-class cricket. In four-day matches, I can bowl multiple spells every day. I can preserve my energy until the final ball of the day. That's my strength."
"I think I can continue hitting the same line and length for a long time and move the ball a bit. My pace doesn't drop towards the end of the day, rather it increases," mentioned Raja.