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18 February, 2020 02:55:43 AM
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BCB still in the dark about Mash’s availability for ODI series

SPORTS REPORTER, Dhaka
BCB still in the dark about Mash’s availability for ODI series
Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza sits on a pickup van while gossiping with media at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital yesterday. BCB Photo

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is still in the dark about Mashrafe Bin Mortaza's availability for the upcoming ODI home series against Zimbabwe.

BCB insiders say BCB president Nazmul Hassan Papon will soon sit with Mashrafe to discuss his future for the upcoming Zimbabwe series as well.

Mashrafe himself confirmed that the BCB president had wanted to meet him at the Parliament Bhaban. He was supposed to meet Papon on Monday night after inaugurating a badminton tournament on the TSC premises of Dhaka University to celebrate Mujib Barsha.

“Papon bhai told me to meet him at the Parliament Bhaban. But I have not been able to manage that. I might go to the Parliament Bhaban tonight after inaugurating a badminton tournament at Dhaka University,” Mashrafe Bin Mortaza told reporters yesterday.

After solitary Test match against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh will play a three-match ODI series against the same opponent on March 1, 3, and 6. But the team management cannot make a road map for the series as they are not sure about the present status of Mashrafe.

“We are not sure about his availability because we don’t have any information about his fitness. He has not reported to Julian about his fitness status,” BCB chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu said.

“The board will have to announce the captain of the ODI team first. We cannot comment on the issue of his availability until then,” Nannu told the media.

Mashrafe is still very much in the BCB's plans, even though he withdrew himself from the new centrally contracted players. In the original contracts, both Mashrafe and Shakib were named.

Local coach Mohammad Salahuddin once said Mashrafe’s alternative was yet to be created in the national team. “Mashrafe is still the best bowler of the country with the new ball. Along with that, he is ahead of other bowlers and players in terms of experience and leadership quality,” he added.

There has been a lot of speculation around Mashrafe’s future since the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales where he had put up a poor show, managing only a wicket in eight outings. Bangladesh had finished eighth in the points chart.

During that tournament, the BCB president had said they would throw a big farewell party after Mashrafe decided to say farewell to cricket. The board even wanted to organise a series on home soil to give a festive farewell to Mashrafe. It is learnt that the BCB sought to arrange a series with Zimbabwe in August–September last year to say goodbye to its charismatic player. Later, Mashrafe sought some more time to decide his retirement from international cricket.

Earlier, Nannu hinted that the Narail Express might take part in the one-dayers. “We’re yet to think about his future. We’re thinking about the Test matches only as we have a Test (against Zimbabwe) at the moment. We’ll consider it after the Test match ends,” he added.

ODI is the only format Mashrafe plays following his abrupt retirement from T20I in 2017 after he quit Tests in 2009. He has not been seen in Bangladesh colours since the last world cup.

EA

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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