It’s almost evening. The celebration of Bangladesh Women’s exciting tie against India Women’s team an hour ago has not stopped yet. In front of the Nigar Sultans dressing room at Mirpur Sherebangla Stadium, the sound of jubilation could be heard. I spoke with Marufa Akhter at that time yesterday. Childlike joy in the eyes. He did not realize what he had done.
Did not let India win the series. how do you feel
Marufa Akhtar: Alhamdulillah. The target was for the trophy to come to us. Since the game is being played on our soil, in our own country; What else can I say? If we fielded a bit better…well done.
He left the field injured. Then he came back and bowled at an important moment like the last over. What were you thinking?
Marufa: When I came out, I said, whatever, I have to go to the field. Even if I show great fielding or take a catch in the field, it will be good for the team. That’s what I did. And when I finally came to the bowling, I was stubborn. Three runs, I can (defend) that. I believe in myself that I can. I bowled with faith.
He took 9 wickets in 6 matches in T20 and ODI series. You are also the highest wicket taker in ODI series. Feel good about this achievement?
Marufa: When I’m doing well, everything will feel good. I love watching my bowling videos.
A lot has changed in your life in the last six to seven months. Played U-19 World Cup. After that, he got a chance in the national team. doing well
Marufa: I came so far for my performance today. If I was bad, I wouldn’t have come this far. Getting rewarded for hard work. BCB is also helping a lot. Women’s wing sirs, Tauhid sir also help me a lot.
I heard your captain Nigar Sultana say, you don’t know what pressure is.
Marufa: Actually, there is no point in thinking about the previous things (laughs). What I will do now, that will be. If I do bad now thinking about the previous things, then it won’t happen. So don’t take pressure.
Come to your bowling. Any story behind your athletic runup?
Marufa: As a child, I was into running. I used to play a lot of football in the village school. And already I am the same since childhood.
How did you come to cricket from football?
Marufa: My brother says there are risks in playing football. For this reason, when I grew up, I slowly started playing tape tennis with my brothers. From there…
Who likes bowling?
Marufa: Mitchell Starc’s bowling run is very good. In running, it feels good.
Your runup is much like that.
How to do the inswing?
Marufa: It comes naturally. Natural swing…swing is very good for me.
Have you ever noticed how the inswing occurs when the ball is released?
Marufa: Not so. It happens naturally.
Smriti Mandhana praised you a lot. Have you talked to him?
Marufa : He shook hands with me first. Then he left and came again, then said, Best of luck. You field very well, your energy is very good, you are very quick, bowling is very good. If you keep them all, you can go far ahead.
You used to farm with your father in Nilphamari during the time of coronavirus. Your family must be proud of how quickly you have come from there.
Marufa: Everyone is very supportive now. My father did not understand the game. But now the father also calls and says, ‘When you bowl, you hit your feet.’ He doesn’t understand, so he says, ‘I hit the ball with my foot. Sometimes I’ll say it slowly’—I like them a lot (laughs).