A slow-left-arm orthodox bowler, Rafique is one of the few Bangladeshi players in the ICC bowler rankings' top fifty. He has become a permanent fixture in the national team, and is a household name in Bangladesh. To date he is the only Bangladeshi player to have taken either of 100 ODI wickets and 100 Test wickets. He has achieved the double of 100 wickets and 1000 runs in both formats.
One of the most senior players in the current Bangladesh team, Rafique was better known for his abilities in ODIs early in his career. He was nevertheless selected to play in Bangladesh's inaugural Test against India, and showed his promise with three wickets.
His career was almost derailed soon afterwards, when he was reported to the ICC for a suspect action. He was tardy in taking remedial action, and was out of the national team until 2002, when he was picked for the home series against South Africa. His return to cricket was classy and promising, with a six-wicket haul in the second Test against South Africa. He has not looked back since. He was the highest wicket-taker for Bangladesh in the home Test series against England, and the second highest during the away tour to Zimbabwe.
Rafique is also known as a handy, hard-hitting lower-order batsman. His 77 versus Kenya in May 1998 at Hyederabad was instrumental in Bangladesh's first ever ODI win against Kenya. With the ball, he took 3/56, and was adjudged the MOM. He also scored a Test century against the West Indies in Bangladesh's drawn Test . Also he scored 65 against Australia in 2005-6, including six sixes . He was instrumental in steering the Tigers to a series whitewash against the Kenyans, and recorded his best match figures in Tests against Australia in a match they only narrowly lost
Rafique had a successful 2007 World Cup, taking eight wickets and helping Bangladesh to win games against India and South Africa. Rafique has also been honoured for his contribution to the cricket world with squad places in both the World XI for the Super Series against Australia in 2005, and the Asia XI for the exhibition series against Africa XI in 2007.
Rafique announced his international retirement on February 7, 2008. Bangladesh's home series against South Africa will be his last for the national team. He became the first Bangladeshi to ever take the milestone of 100 test wickets by having Robin Peterson caught at first slip by Junaid Siddique on the 1st of March during the second test.
He was one of outstanding successes of the Bangladesh team that won the 1997 ICC Trophy. Overall, in 9 matches, he took 19 wickets at an average of 10.68. His best 4/25 came in the Semi-Final against Scotland. With his spinning partner Enamul Haque Moni taking 12 wickets in the tournament, it was a great truimph for spin bowling. In the final against Kenya he came good with the bat. Sent in to open, in a rain shortened game, he blaseted 26 of only 15 deliveries, smashing couple of huge sixes.
|Mohammad Rafique in Cricket World Cup|