Thursday, 21 October, 2021
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Mashrafe ‘as a mentor’ could have been fantastic: Gibson

Mashrafe ‘as a mentor’ could have been fantastic: Gibson
Bangladesh pace bowling coach Ottis Gibson (left) and former skipper Mashrafe Mortaza are seen in a training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in the capital. – FILE PHOTO

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Bangladesh pace bowling coach Ottis Gibson felt that former skipper Mashrafe Mortaza could have been a great choice as a mentor for the national team during the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup as the players could be benefitted from his experience.

“Mashrafe is a legend for Bangladesh and he has done very well for his country. It’s good to see he has prepared to go and give back (his experience and knowledge) to the current players,” the 52-year old former West Indies all-rounder told The Daily Sun in a recent interview.

“I always tell Taskin (Ahmed) and other bowlers that I worked with that they must always seek him and if Mashrafe prepares to share his experience with the guys, it’s always good for them and for the team as well and it would be fantastic to see him,” he added.

Mashrafe, who isn’t currently part of Bangladesh set-up in any format in any role, recently came to the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur at the insistence of Taskin to show him the ways of bowling cutters and slowers.

Since India’s appointing their former skipper MS Dhoni as their mentor for the T20 World Cup and Sri Lankan batting great Mahela Jayawardene’s naming as the consultant of their national team for the qualifying round, there were some talks regarding BCB’s making a similar move with Mashrafe.

The 38-year old, who is also a member of parliament, however, wasn’t offered such a role from the Bangladesh Cricket Board despite the talks.

“We didn’t offer him for any such role as no cricketer asked for it,” BCB Cricket Operation Chairman Akram Khan told The Daily Sun when his attention was drawn on whether they had any plan to bring Mashrafe in a mentoring role.

Meanwhile, the former Caribbean pacer claimed that he’s not worried at all with all the criticism regarding their playing in slow wickets ahead of the World Cup as he felt that his fast bowlers have the ability to adapt in different conditions.

Bangladesh was hugely criticized for preparing slow and low wickets against Australia and New Zealand at home which they won convincingly and many felt that it wasn’t ideal for them before going into the global tournament, which offers sporting wickets.

“I think a lot has been said about bowling in slow pitches in Bangladesh but I think when we were in New Zealand last year or early this year Taskin showed what he can do on those pitches and Taskin bowled really well.

“We have Mustafizur doing his thing and Taskin, Shoriful and Saifuddin showing his improvement and anyone from the four guys I think can make an impact in the game.

“I think without thinking too much about pitches it is all about how we adapt to the conditions and that will make the difference in the World Cup. I think with Mustafizur, Shoriful, Taskin and Saifuddin, we will be able to use the conditions. Their skills are required to use in those conditions,” he added.

Gibson also said he’s not surprised to see Mustafizur doing well in the IPL and rejected the idea that the Tigers would be a one-man army in the World Cup, scheduled to start on October 17.

Mustafizur had a decent outing with Rajasthan Royals during the ongoing edition of the IPL where he claimed 14 wickets in as many matches with an economy rate of 8.41.

“Mustafizur had done brilliantly in the last time with the national team. I’m not surprised to see him doing well in the IPL. He is improving nicely. He has a very good control over what he does.

“I’m very pleased to see him doing well in the IPL and hopefully by the time we get into Dubai he will continue his form.

“Mustafizur is one of our most experienced players and it’s good to see him using his experiences and assessing the conditions and that’s one of his strengths. He is able to assess conditions quite quickly and decide how he is gonna bowl on that pitch.

“I don’t think we will be reliant on one person like Mustafizur. I think Taskin, Shoriful and Saifuddin will have a very good World Cup. So whichever combination the management decides, those guys can take the opportunity and make the most of it,” he concluded.