They are one of the newest test playing nations, but Bangladesh have already produced some excellent cricketers in a short space of time. Here are some of the best Bangladeshi cricketers throughout history.
Top 15 Cricketers of Bangladesh
Shakib Al Hasan
This list is in no particular order, but it would be hard to argue with the theory that Shakib Al Hasan is the best Bangladeshi cricketer of all time. He is capable of turning games with his accurate left arm spin and he has recently helped his team to complete a 3-0 T20 series whitewash over England.
At the end of that series in 2023, Shakib had played in 404 international matches across the three formats. He has scored over 13,000 runs and taken 662 wickets for Bangladesh.
He holds a number of national records and still has time to add to those impressive tallies.
A hard hitting opening batter who can score quickly in all three formats, Tamim Iqbal has been one of Bangladesh’s most reliable players. A left hander, Tamim currently holds the national record for most runs in One Day Internationals.
He’s made 8,143 ODI runs at the time of writing and he’s also been prolific in tests and T20is. In his first 381 games across the three international formats, Tamim Iqbal had made almost 15,000 runs with 25 centuries and a top score of 206.
Khaled Mashud was Bangladesh’s second international captain and he made a mark as a leader, a batsman and a wicket keeper. A solid all-round performer, he helped his team to gain a foothold during their early days of international cricket.
His biggest influence was as a skipper, so his statistics may not quite tell the whole story. In 44 tests and 126 One Day Internationals, Khaled Mashud made 3227 runs and his highest score of 103 was his only century for Bangladesh.
A powerful striker of the ball in the middle order, Mahmudullah can also bowl useful orthodox off spin. In fact, had it not been for Shakib Al Hasan, we may be describing him as Bangladesh’s greatest all rounder.
Some will see him as a limited overs specialist, but Mahmudullah has been effective at times in test cricket too. He’s made almost 10,000 runs in the three formats with a top score of 150, while those off breaks have produced 163 international wickets.
Bangladesh’s version of the ‘Little Master’ Mohammad Ashraful lost form towards the end of his career, but he left supporters with some special moments. A spot fixing controversy effectively ended his international playing days, but we will focus on the positives here.
Ashraful played in 261 international games across the three formats and he also skippered Bangladesh for a brief time. He was a fast scorer and simultaneously held the fastest 50 for his country in tests, ODIs and T20is. Over those 261 matches, Mohammad Ashraful made 6655 runs with nine centuries and a top score of 190.
He was one of the most effective spinners in the early days of Bangladesh international cricket, and Abdur Razzak provided inspiration for others to follow. He was a left arm orthodox bowler, but he was a tall man, and that extra height could often trouble the batsmen.
Razzak played in just 13 tests, but he was a regular in the one day set up where he featured in 153 ODIs. In total, he played in exactly 200 international games, taking 279 wickets with best figures of 5/29.
Habibul Bashar was a part of the Bangladesh team that played its very first test match against India in 2000, and he would later go on to captain the side. Bashar started strongly, making 100 runs in his first two innings in test cricket.
Eventually, he would make 5194 international runs with three centuries and a top score of 113. In the future, the records will show that Habibul Bashar was also one of the best captains that Bangladesh ever had.
Mohammad Rafique has a permanent place in history as the first Bangladesh bowler to take 100 wickets in test cricket. He also formed part of the team that played India in that inaugural 2000 test match, so he’s a history maker in many respects.
A left arm orthodox spinner, Rafique would go on to develop into an all-rounder. He made a test hundred and scored over 2,000 runs in the three international formats. Bowling was his main job and he retired with 226 wickets from 159 games.
One of the quicker bowlers that Bangladesh has produced, Mashrafe Mortaza was referred to as the Narail Express. His speed was relatively modest by global standards, but he could be effective in overseas conditions.
Mortaza had enough pace to trouble batsmen when those conditions were in his favour and he could be productive in all formats. He finished his career as his country’s leading wicket taker in ODIs with 269 victims and, although he’s since been overtaken by Shakib Al Hasan, he’s still in second place.
Across all international formats, Mashrafe Mortaza took 390 wickets with best figures of 6/26.
A calm captain, a prolific batter and arguably the best ever Bangladesh wicket keeper, Mushfiqur Rahim was another great all rounder. He was just 16 years old when he was called up to the national squad for the first time, but he’s gone on to justify the selectors’ faith.
Mushfiqur is currently the leading scorer in test matches for Bangladesh with 5321 runs from 84 games. That tally includes nine centuries and a top score of 219. He can also add 7,401 runs across the two limited overs formats.
One of the longest serving players in Bangladeshi cricket, Akram Khan made his first international appearance in an ODI back in 1988. He also played in his country’s initial test match in 2000 and he has the honour of holding test cap number one.
Akram is widely regarded as the first real hero of Bangladesh cricket. While his figures are modest, they don’t quite tell the full story here. Over eight tests and 44 One Day Internationals, he made 1235 runs with a top score of just 65. In a developing team, he helped Bangladesh transfer from associate nation to full member of the ICC and Akram Khan laid a platform for others to follow and be inspired by.
From an early star of Bangladesh cricket, we now come to one of its youngest and brightest players. Aminul Islam made a promising entry into the international game when he was first picked for a T20 international against Zimbabwe in 2019.
Aminul made an encouraging start in that game with two wickets and he’s since gone on to claim 12 wickets in 10 T20is. His record at the top level is mixed, but I think Aminul Islam is an exciting leg break bowler and one to watch for the future.
One of just a few Bangladeshi players to have been picked up by an IPL franchise, Mustafizur Rahman is one of the country’s most memorable players. Known as The Fizz, he built up a strong reputation based on a wide set of variations.
He’s a left arm seamer with a range of slower balls and he’s been very effective in limited overs cricket in particular. Mustafizur has also played in 15 tests so far, taking 31 wickets, but he’s been more successful in ODIs and T20is. Overall, he’s claimed 273 international victims at the time of writing with best figures of 6/43.
Kazi Shahadat Hossain
Issues off the pitch tainted his reputation and ended his career at the top level. His behaviour was unacceptable but we’ll just quickly pay testament to the impact that Shahadat Hossain had on international cricket for Bangladesh.
He was a bowler who could deliver the ball with genuine pace at times and his early promise resulted in a call up to the Bangladesh test team in 2005. As the team struggled on their tour of England, Shahadat returned figures of 0/101 in that game as England racked up 528 for the loss of just three wickets.
Things improved from that point and Shahadat Hossan went on to take 72 wickets in 38 tests with best figures of 6/27. He was less of a force in limited overs cricket, but he still claimed 51 wickets with best figures of 3/34 across 57 games in the two formats.
It’s difficult being a Bangladeshi seamer, but Rubel Hossain has been among the most effective of all his country’s quicker bowlers. He’s a consistent presence and, when the national team travels abroad, he can be an important figure when overseas conditions are in his favour.
Rubel made his debut as a 19-year-old in 2009 and he’s played in over 150 matches since that point. He’s claimed 193 wickets in that time with best figures of 6/26.
Bangladesh have been a full member of the ICC since 2000, but they are still seen as an emerging nation. They can struggle at times, away from home, but they can be a considerable force on their own surfaces when the conditions are in their favour.
All of these cricketers have played their part in the successes that Bangladeshi cricket has enjoyed. Arguably, there could have been more additions, while I’m certain that there will be new players breaking through onto the list. Having seen Bangladesh beat England comprehensively at home in 2023, the future of the game here looks bright.