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AMINUL ISLAM: TOP STARTER

Aminul Islam, 40, is a national hero in Bangladesh, forever to be associated with scoring Bangladesh’s first Test century in their Inaugural Test. Since retirement he has established himself as a coach and commentator in both Bangladesh and Australia. In September 2007 he became an Asian Cricket Council Development Officer.

“Things happen on the field or in practice which just leave you admiring the ability and the potential to be really good cricketers that all these countries have.”

As the ACC’s newest Development Officer, what do you hope to achieve?

I will obviously follow the ACC’s instructions, its aims and objectives. When I am in my countries (Brunei, China, Myanmar),  I aim to set up a short-term, mid-term and long-term goal.

China, for instance, the long term goal is to have an international one-day team but the short-term goal is to provide cricket all over the country and the mid-term goal is the 2010 Asian Games. Since China is new to cricket we need to make a cricket team for the coming Asian games where the men and women have automatic qualification and this is one of our main objectives.

In 2010 China has the opportunity to show the world that China is a truly developing cricketing nation.

At the ACC we look to the administration in all countries, first and foremost, because without a good administration one cannot produce a good cricket team. There is also the coaching system and the players.

How have the past six months been, working for the ACC?

After playing 27 years of cricket, 16 of which I have played for the national side, this is a completely different role. It is more administration and I was a little worried because I only know how to be out in the grounds but when I started working with the countries, China, Brunei and Myanmar, I found I had to apply all my cricketing knowledge and I am adjusting well to the challenge. It has been very exciting working with all the cricketers and I have a special job to do with China as well.

Getting to grips with China’s women coaches

The three countries I look after are ranked at the bottom of the ACC table and so they have to come up and this is a great test for all of us.

What do you find most challenging about this job?

The job requires a good mixture of administration and coaching and there are some challenges but from my point of view it is introducing a new game to these countries. In China, the main barrier is language since hardly any of the people there understand English. Before I went there I took courses in Mandarin and that is really helping me but there is still a long way to go for me to perfect the language. There is a translator present and I try making use of whatever I can speak but cricket has its own language and once they start playing, they fully immerse themselves into the game.

Post-match analysis with the China squad at the
2008 ACC U-19 Challenge Cup

They love the game and take it very seriously and I am glad to see China playing cricket and once they become full-fledged, we can truly call cricket a global game. They are the new-born baby of the ACC and we need to look after it and nurture it carefully.

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