‘Don’t be too excited’ – coaches, Tamim Iqbal want record-breaker Parvez Hossain Emon to stay grounded
Parvez Hossain Emon has just smashed a 42-ball century in the Bangabandhu T20 Cup, the fastest by a Bangladeshi in T20s.
What happens now, after a teenager has hit a record-breaking century, even if it’s only in a domestic T20 competition? In Bangladesh, that means a social media deluge, hailing the new kid on the block. There will be calls and messages. It is a time to soak it all in for Emon, but it is also a rite of passage, and a time for the prodigiously talented youngster to heed some wise words from those with more experience.
Soon after Emon’s innings helped Fortune Barishal eclipse a stiff 220-run target against Minister Rajshahi on Tuesday, two of his mentors from his Under-17 days stepped in – Barishal coach Sohel Islam and manager Hasibul Hossain have played their part in guiding Emon in the initial three years of his career.
“When I saw Emon hitting a fifty in the first game, I understood he could hit. But the question was, can he hit for a long time? He proved it yesterday”
“The kid is just starting off, so we told him ‘don’t be too excited about this innings’,” Hasibul told ESPNcricinfo. “There’s a lot of cricket ahead of him. He should try to have a long career. I told him, ‘don’t be happy with this one knock’. But there’s no doubt that this was one of the best knocks in our domestic T20 circuit. He also stuck to cricketing shots, particularly straight and through the covers. He didn’t slog mindlessly.
“I have known him since he was in the Under-17s. He always batted this way. He couldn’t stop hitting every ball till a few years ago, but he has matured now. His straight hitting has improved a lot. We took him because he bats aggressively, and thinking that he is a future asset in T20s.”
Sohel, who was coach when Emon led Bangladesh Under-17s a couple of years ago, said that it would be important to keep in check Emon’s excitement, of course, but also everyone else’s expectations from him.
“It is tough to judge a player after just one game. I think we should speak about him after he has played a number of matches,” Sohel said. “It won’t be possible for him to bat this way in T20s all the time, but definitely there should be consistent performances.
“After the game, I told him to forget about this innings. Every day is a different game, different opponent, different wicket and conditions. You have to start anew.”
What Emon pulled off on Tuesday afternoon at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, however, needs to be discussed. Playing for arguably the weakest team in the competition, Emon and his team-mates were reeling at the halfway stage after Najmul Hossain Shanto’s 55-ball 109 in Rajshahi’s 220 for 7.
But after Saif Hassan and Tamim Iqbal got 44 in the first 4.3 overs, it was slightly easier for Emon to go after the bowling. After hitting two fours in his first six balls, Emon struck a four and a six in the 18-run eighth over, bowled by Farhad Reza. Emon truly came alive in the 13th over when he struck Farhad for three sixes and a four, which swung the game Barishal’s way.
“When chasing 220 in a T20, you have to go hard every over,” Tamim Iqbal, the Barishal captain who made 53 off 37 balls and added 117 for the second wicket with Emon, said. “We were always ahead of their run rate so there were moments, especially when we had brought down the required rate to around nine an over, I felt that we can switch to taking singles for the rest of the over. Particularly after we’d got early boundaries.
“But I stopped myself from telling him this because I didn’t want to break his rhythm. He was going so hard that I was just hoping from the other end that he doesn’t get out. I was trying to be as calm as possible, trying to play as many cricketing shots as possible. Both batsmen going hard means that if one of us get out, we will lose our rhythm.”
It’s not as though Emon isn’t used to the spotlight. He might not have been the team’s No. 1 star, but he did play a big part in Bangladesh’s Under-19 World Cup win in South Africa earlier this year, scoring 166 runs in six innings at an average of 33.30.
Interestingly, the record Emon broke was in Tamim’s name, for his 50-ball century in the 2019 Bangladesh Premier League final.
“All the credit and praise to him, for getting a hundred in 42 deliveries while chasing 220, it was something special,” Tamim said. “When I saw Emon hitting a fifty in the first game, I understood he could hit. But the question was, can he hit for a long time? He proved it yesterday.”