|© UNICEF Bangladesh/2006/Amin|
|UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador : Cricketer Habibul bashar|
One of the country’s leading batsmen, Habibul Bashar was the captain of the Bangladesh national cricket team from January 2004 to June 2007.
As a boy, Habibul Bashar loved football. It was only at the age of 13, when his cousin Amir came to visit the family in Madaripur, that Habibul developed an interest in cricket.
Amir enrolled Habibul in a two-week training camp with the National Sports Council where Habibul played his first ever practise match Moshiduddin Ahmed the national coach was watching.
Three years later, Mr Ahmed remembered Habibul and invited him to Dhaka to play in the first division. After seven years in the national league, Habibul was drafted into the national team. He made his international debut against Sri Lanka in 1995. Bangladesh had not achieved test status, so Habibul was not yet competing at the highest level of international cricket.
When Bangladesh achieved test status in 2000, Habibul was delighted and desperate to be part of the national team. He scored 71 runs in his test debut against India.
Habibul captained the national team until 2007, when he retired from international cricket to play for the Dhaka Warriors in the Indian Cricket League.
Habibul filmed a television spot for UNICEF as part of an HIV awareness campaign. He and his young son enjoy watching Meena cartoons on television. A particular favourite is the episode where Meena plays cricket, encouraging girls to enjoy sports.