The Bangladesh cricket team enjoyed their greatest year in 2015. From reaching the quarterfinals of the ICC World Cup to then winning series' against the likes of Pakistan, India and South Africa at home, the Tigers truly became a force in world cricket. During that period, they enjoyed the influx of a bunch of young players such as Soumya Sarkar, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman and Sabbir Rahman. At that time, Dhaka Division batsman Rony Talukdar was one of them who were given a go on the basis of some excellent domestic form for two seasons.
Rony made his international debut against South Africa in a T20I game. However, the top-order batsman was brought on to bat at number eight, an unfamiliar batting position for him. He made a run-a-ball 21 as Bangladesh lost the match. To this date, this remains Rony Talukdar's only appearance in international cricket in Bangladesh colours.
Despite scoring 2,601 runs in two seasons of domestic cricket over 2014-15, he was never given a chance in the Test or the ODI side. His form dipped afterwards in domestic cricket too.
In the next part of The Business Standard's (TBS) 'Where are they now?' series, we spoke in-depth with Rony to find out if he still feels he can break into the national team again after bursting into the domestic scene and doing so well.
The Narayanganj-born batsman feels that he didn't deserve to be dropped after just a single opportunity and believes that he can still make his way back into the national team: "I got runs in that season and was selected in the national team. I was given a chance in a T20I. I couldn't bat in my preferred batting position. This remains my only international match for Bangladesh. I feel I could've been given some more opportunities to prove my mettle."
"I am a top-order batsman. But I batted at number eight in my debut game. I was quite confident that I would get further opportunities. But I had never thought that I would face the axe so soon," said the right-handed batsman.
After he was dropped from the national team, he couldn't perform as well as he would've liked and he admits that the harsh treatment from the selectors played a part in him losing his confidence and form. But he still has the desire to make a comeback to the national team. "Definitely I want to play for the country again. I am keeping up the fight. I believe that if I perform well in domestic cricket, another national team call-up is quite likely," said Rony.
Growing up watching the legendary Sachin Tendulkar bat, the right-handed batsman inherited the love for the game from his family. His father was an ardent fan of cricket and his elder brother played cricket. "My family members love the game. You can say, my father is a great fan of cricket, so is my elder brother. He also used to cricket," he mentioned.
"My brother used to practice under Jalal Sir (Jalal Ahmed Chowdhury) at Dhanmondi. I also got myself enrolled to his coaching in 2005. That is how I got into cricket," Rony added.
Rony didn't step out much during the lockdown and did some fitness drills at home. "I stayed home and worked on my fitness as much as I could. Besides, we helped the distressed people in this tough time through an organisation," he said.
A capable top-order batsman, Rony wants to continue playing cricket for as long as he can. "I will play the game as long as my body permits. If I feel that I am not enjoying what I'm doing, I'll hang up my goods for good," the 29-year old mentioned.
Rony's story is yet another example of a cricketer with talent that did not get proper treatment and grooming from the management and selectors and as a result, he faded away. The domestic pipeline in Bangladesh is not the strongest in the world and one would hope that the people in charge start take more care of the players so that they can fulfil their potential and help Bangladesh cricket move forward.