If you want to know how painful it is for a cricketer to be a mere spectator for almost an entire year, you can ask pace spearhead Mashrafe Bin Mortaza. It has never been a smooth journey for the ‘Narail Express’ because of persistent injuries since his international debut in November 2001 against Zimbabwe. The agony was exacerbated this year as his dream of playing in the World Cup at home was shattered following yet another knee injury suffered during a domestic game in December last year. He made a short comeback to international cricket to play two ODIs against Australia at home in April before undergoing surgery on his knee in May.
The “Braveheart” cricketer however was not willing to look back, instead eagerly looking forward to the Premier Division Cricket League, which will kick off today at three different venues, to make a comeback into competitive cricket after a lengthy period of rehabilitation.
“I am looking forward to make a new start in my career. Hopefully I will be available for selection for my club (Bangladesh Biman) from the third week of next month. I’m now bowling with a full run-up at practice, but not with full effort. But I am confident about regaining my match fitness from the third week of the next month, but everything will be depend on our national team physio,” said Mashrafe while talking to the Daily Star Sport yesterday.
“I don’t want to look back at what I missed in the past; rather, my main target is to see how I can manage myself and prolong my international career. I hope I will be available for selection for the next Asia Cup in March, but you know I have to prove myself before that,” he added.
Mashrafe was so frustrated with the latest injury that he was even thinking of saying goodbye to the longer version of cricket, but he has got back his confidence through the way he has been recovering from the injury.
“You all know this was the seventh operation on my knee, so you can understand what had been going through my mind when I again underwent surgery in May this year, but now I’m confident about reviving my Test career. Definitely, my goal is to prepare myself so that I can play Test cricket again. But before all that I want to perform well in the Premier League no matter how many matches I play,” said Mashrafe.
BCB’s physician Dr. Debashish Chowdhury also expressed his optimism over Mashrafe’s recovery.
“Mashrafe is now fine and hopefully he can play the Premier League from mid January next year. He is almost okay and giving seventy percent effort in his bowling. What we must ensure is that we manage him properly when we handle him in competitive cricket,” opined Debashish.
-With The Daily Star input