‘Avoided limelight to have mental peace’

Atif Azam

13 December, 2019 12:00 AM printer

‘Avoided limelight to have mental peace’

Dhaka Platoon skipper Mashrafe Mortaza, second right, chats with Dhaka opener Tamim Iqbal during their Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League match against Rajshahi Royals at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Thursday. — SUN Photo

Since ICC World Cup 2019, Mashrafe Mortaza remained silent and maintained a distance from journalists despite being a familiar face in Bangladeshi media.

Mashrafe, the ODI skipper had to face lot of criticism for his below-par performance in ICC World Cup 2019 while there were a lot of speculation about his retirement considering he had opted to join politics and was eyeing to make a career out of it after being elected a member of parliament.

The inspirational leader received a huge blow from Shakib Al Hasan as well when he publicly criticised him and openly stated that his performance, one wicket in the whole tournament, had an impact on the overall performance of the team.

Mashrafe decided not to react under those circumstances then and even now looked hardly interested to start the mudslinging game again and insisted that he prefers to avoid the media when it turns out to be a source of mental disturbance.

“At least that is what I have learnt from great cricketers that you should avoid media when it is disturbing your mental peace,” Mashrafe, who is leading Dhaka Platoon in Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL), told reporters when his attention was drawn on the unexpected hibernation that he went to adding that he had nothing against media for being harsh on him.

“It feels great to have good relationships with a lot of people. Journalists will do their job, I will do mine. I think all players have good relationship with reporters,” said Mashrafe.

“From the point of professionalism when I have to face you (journalists), I will. I was not in the game after ICC World Cup 2019. So, I didn’t need to talk in front of media. Now the time has arrived so now I am briefing again,” he said.

“Whether my performance is good or bad, you are bound to write about. So, I think it is better not to take it personally. I think many players read those so they take it personally, which is not necessary in professional life. People are supposed to be busy with their own business. You can’t improve your performance by blaming the media. If media is criticising me, it is because I am not playing well in the field. So, I think if it is creating pressure on me mentally, then I think it is better to avoid media and usually big players do that,” he said.

Mashrafe, who was picked in the eighth round of BBPL draft when Platoon rescued him from a huge embarrassment , added that he was a little bit hesitant to play cricket after so many days but added that he is confident that it won’t take him long to regain his form back.

“In my case there was some hesitations as I am playing after so many days and that is the problem that players usually have,” said Mashrafe.

“As I have been out of the game for a long time, there were some niggles and it is still there,” he said.

“But I overcame these obstacles previously as well and I hope it will be fine. After two or three matches, it might get easier,” he concluded. Mashrafe conceded 18 runs in 3 overs without picking any wicket after making a 10-ball 18.

Platoon lost the opening game against Rajshahi Royals and will be looking to make a comeback in their second game against Cumilla Warriors in their second game today.