The Indian Premier League (IPL), the huge melting pot that it is, brings together players from different countries and cultures under one roof, creating a rich blend of cricket philosophies, apart from giving rise to a treasure trove of cricket expertise. At a specific time every year, India turns into the focal point of large-scale interaction among cultures from around the world, all united by cricket. That is the charm of the IPL. But it does also create difficulties – none bigger than communication among players speaking different languages, and sometimes it can lead to hilarious consequences.
Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner shared one such story in an interview with cricket.com.au, quoted by Zee News. The hard-hitting Australian batsman, who led the Hyderabad franchise to the title last year, could be seen getting consumed by laughter as he narrated how the team's Bangladeshi pacer Mustafizur Rahman once misinterpreted an instruction owing to his unfamiliarity with the English language.
"I think one time I sort of pointed at my head saying to him (Rahman), like think, use your brain, and he bowled a bouncer," Warner said. The SRH captain revealed that he had started to learn Bengali to communicate better with the mercurial pacer. Warner even jokingly tweeted that he was using "translation on google for fizz (Rahman's nickname). Working out how to speak Bangla hehe. Tora tora."
SRH batsman Ricky Bhui, who was part of the India U19 World Cup side in 2014 and the only player in the squad who could speak Bengali apart from Rahman, was as expected made the translator, according to a Cricinfo report. The two knew each other since 2014 when they were part of their respective teams for the U-19 World Cup and Bhui told Cricinfo that Rahman and he got along very well.
He also revealed that owing to Rahman, owing to his difficulty in speaking English, usually spoke in 'sign language'. "He says only two words - problem and no problem. Not just on the ground but everywhere – be it a press conference or sponsor event or when he speaks to the manager," Bhui reveals about his mate to Cricinfo. Rahman's difficulties get accentuated when you consider that he was staying in an alien environment without a compatriot for company for such a long time during the IPL.
Rahman, who burst on to the international scene in 2015 by decimating India in a ODI series in Bangladesh, is regarded as one of the premier pacers of the world, and played a big role in SRH's title triumph last season. He took 17 wickets in the 16 matches he played on his IPL debut last year, which included a superb 3/16 against Mumbai Indians in Visakhapatnam, in which he craftily varied his pace and length to get rid of Hardik Pandya, Tim Southee amd Mitchell McClenaghan, and set up a big win for the home team.
Clearly, then Rahman may not speak much in English, but he can surely make the ball talk, and one of the added responsibilities for Warner this year may be a crash course in Bengali.