On BPL debut, 22-year-old Aliss Islam claimed a hat-trick and starred in Dhaka Dynamites’ win © BCB
Rookie off-spinner Aliss Islam was abruptly thrust into the limelight after he became the first bowler in the history of the Bangladesh Premer League to claim a hat-trick on Friday (January 11).
Aliss, who is uncapped in the first-class circuit, was the talk of the town when he was included in the playing XI for the Dhaka Dynamites against their arch-rivals, Rangpur Riders. He lived up to the hype, hogging all the beginners’ luck whilst claiming a hat-trick on BPL debut and playing a major role in the Dynamites’ two-run win over defending champions Rangpur Riders in a nerve-racking battle in Mirpur on Friday.
Aliss, who began his cricket career in Kathalbagan Green Cresent Club, played second division cricket for a few years and later was promoted to the first division where a Dynamites’ scout recruited him and made arrangements to train with the Dhaka franchise team.
”I was a net bowler for the Dhaka Dynamites. Previously I’ve played in the first division of Dhaka. While practising bowling in the nets, Shujon Sir (the coach of Dhaka, Khaled Mahmud) after watching me, said that he believed that I could play well in the BPL and later took me to his team. Then the team management and players supported me,” Aliss told reporters in the post-match press conference.
”Last evening, I got to know that I will be playing. Sir [Mahmud] called me up and suggested that I prepare myself physically and mentally. And I was prepared already. It’s a matter of nervousness playing in this big stadium; in this big tournament. At the outset I was outright nervous, then eventually I got rid of it.”
Aliss was confident of making a comeback despite missing three catches earlier in the match. Furthermore, his self-belief did not wane, even when he was hit for two successive fours in the first two deliveries of his last over.
Aliss, who brought the Dynamites back into the game by removing Rossouw (which also ended his 121-run partnership with Mohammad Mithun) to stop the Riders from advancing to victory, had his share of bad luck and nerves when he dropped a few catches early on.
Aliss began his demolition act in the next over when he dismissed Mithun (49), Mashrafe Mortaza (0) and Farhad Reza (0) to complete his hat-trick. He went a step further, keeping his composure in the final over, as he successfully defended 14 runs.
”Actually, it was my first match of the BPL. To be frank it was my first match in a stadium. I was literally too nervous. But after dropping the catches, the teammates supported me to a great extent and so did the coach. Everybody provided me with enough strength. Consequently, I believed that if I could land the ball at the right place then something positive might happen. I just wanted to bowl in the right areas.
”Actually, I bowled the first two balls outside the stumps and Shofiul bhai scored as he got into his comfort zone and at that point I was thinking to bowl on the stumps. However, I had that self-confidence that I could make it,” Aliss said, adding that skipper Shakib al Hasan encouraged him during the historic over when he claimed the hat-trick.
”Shakib bhai just said that it was going all good, just keep landing the ball at the right place,” he said. Furthermore, he was confident while countering the sceptics about the legitimacy of his action.
”No, it (bowling action) didn’t come under controversy ever. However, everybody was pondering. No, actually it wasn’t questionable at all,” Aliss concluded.