Mashrafe eager to book Lanka tour spot

Sports Correspondent

15 July, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Mashrafe eager to book Lanka tour spot

Bangladesh ODI skipper Mashrafe Mortaza indicated that he is getting prepared for Tigers’ upcoming tour to Sri Lanka as he began his individual practice session at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Sunday.

There were widespread apprehension over his availability for the Sri Lanka tour following a hamstring injury that kept nagging him throughout ICC World Cup 2019 but he was seen spending some busy time in gymnasium and indicating he won’t give up the hopes of playing the three-match ODI series in Sri Lanka later this month.

He has fitness issues as he suffered a hamstring injury during Tri-nation Series in Ireland but he played ICC World Cup 2019 despite the injury. However the injury didn’t allow him to bowl according to the best of his potential as he returned with his worst bowling performance in the cricket’s biggest extravaganza.

Mashrafe picked up just one wicket in eight matches at an average of 361, his worst performance in his entire career.

The performance sparked a debate whether he should get a place in the Bangladesh team in ICC World Cup 2019. At the same time, his retirement issue came to the fore.

But Mashrafe, also a lawmaker, who earlier termed ICC World Cup 2019 as his last, didn’t say anything about his retirement from the international cricket.

It was widely believed that he would walk into the sunset after the completion of Bangladesh’s World Cup journey. However he didn’t announce anything in this regard but he refused to do so while later  Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hassan revealed that they want to give Mashrafe a fitting farewell, by organising a tournament in the country even though Bangladesh don’t have any ODI series scheduled this year at home. Mashrafe has been playing only ODIs.

He had already retired from T20 cricket and didn’t play any Tests since 2009. He didn’t officially retire from Test cricket though.

The fact that Mashrafe is keen to play in Sri Lanka and was apparent in BCB selector Habibul Bashar Sumon’s statement, who said Mashrafe needs to go through a fitness test to make himself available.

Mashrafe in fact didn’t miss any series since being appointed as captain in 2014. The captain, who went through eight operations on both knees and struggled through numerous injuries in his career, played most of the series despite injury since 2014.