Former national team fast bowler Robiul Islam has always been one of the lesser celebrated cricketers in the Bangladesh national team.
Robiul was a solid customer with the ball, having good line and length and also being able to swing it properly.
But despite some good showings in Test cricket, especially away from home where he has a bowling average of 31.87, he only played nine Tests.
His international career came to a close in 2019 when he announced his retirement quietly and without much fanfare.
His bowling numbers away from home still remain the best for any Bangladeshi fast bowler and he is the last fast bowler who managed to take a five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
The Business Standard caught up with the 33-year-old to know more about his career, whether he felt he deserved more chances, and what his future plans are in the third part of the 'Where are they now?' series.
Despite struggling early on in international cricket, he overcame that: "I made my Test debut at the Lord's, the Mecca of cricket. I was called up to the team based on my good performances in first-class cricket and the three practice matches in England ahead of the Test series. But the match didn't go as well as I would've liked."
The biggest reason for him not doing well in international cricket was due to a fault in his runup. He was subsequently dropped from the side and had to fix his runup.
A year later, he was called back into the side after a string of good performances in the domestic circuit.
"Yes, I had issues with my run-up. Actually, I was not picked by any team in the first-ever BPL. So there was no cricket at that time for me and I went back to my hometown. Shane Jurgensen, at that time, was the head coach, taking over from Jamie Siddons. He called and asked me to return to Dhaka. I spent 40 days in the academy and practised under Richard (Halsall). I worked on my bowling, fielding and fitness. That's when I worked on the run-up as well and it paid dividends in the next tours," Robiul said.
He dismantled the Zimbabwe top order, taking the first six wickets in the Harare Test in 2013 and was primed for big things.
But a change in coach led to a change in fortunes for Robiul as the appointment of Chandika Hathurusingha meant he was dropped from the team.
"I had a dream of taking lots and lots of wickets for Bangladesh. Since I was known to be a Test specialist, I desired to make it big in this format. I guess (Chandika) Hathurusingha didn't like me much."
Not being preferred by the coach and then not getting selected weren't the only challenges Robiul faced then.
He was looking to turn things around and get back in the team but an unfortunate injury ended his chances for him and he never reached the heights he was expected to.
"We had a home series against Zimbabwe after the West Indies tour in 2014. I was adjudged player of the series in the previous series against Zimbabwe. But this time I was announced 'unfit'. Then Sumon Bhai (Habibul Bashar), one of the selectors, told me to play the practice match. The squad for the first two matches was announced. He told me that I could still make my way back into the team if I did well there. Sumon Bhai was my captain when I made my first-class debut. So I did what he told me to do. I bowled really well in the practice match and thought that I would be picked for the third Test. I was playing a DPL match. The squad was about to be announced. I was fielding at short midwicket. I dived to stop the ball from going far, but in the process dislocated my shoulder. I couldn't make a proper comeback after that injury. I couldn't perform well in domestic cricket after my return. There were so many cricketers performing better than me. That's why probably I couldn't get a chance again," he explained.
Having retired a year ago, Robiul, now 33, plans to become a professional coach and help the next generation of cricketers.
"When I retired last year, I immediately made up my mind to take up coaching as a profession. I completed level-1 as well. I haven't been involved with anything professional so far, but I've been working with the kids in Satkhira. If I get an opportunity or BCB gives me an opportunity, I would definitely like to share my experiences," he concluded.
Robiul's story is another one of a cricketer with a lot of talent and promise but one that faded away due to a lack of management and injury.