The dearth in Bangladesh’s pace bowling department due to a prevailing injury crisis can be overcome through the work of the coaching management of the Bangladesh
Cricket Board, said Mashrafee bin Murtaza on Wednesday.
Bangladesh returned home from Zimbabwe without any remarkable success, drawing the Test and Twenty20 series and losing the one-day international series, as they failed to grasp the opportunity of exploiting the seam-bowling friendly conditions owing to the absence of most of their pace bowlers.
The Tigers were consigned to limited options as Mashrafee could not prevail in his battle against injury to come up short in joining the ODI squad, Rubel Hossain returned home after the first Test match as he was suffering from a shoulder niggle and later contracted chicken pox, while Shahadat Hossain was unable to be a part of the Test series due to injury.
All-rounder Ziaur Rahman and pace bowler Shafiul Islam joined the team later while Zia, with his weapon of medium pace, got the opportunity to debut in the second Test which only proved the shortage of quality pace bowlers in the pipeline.
The sudden vacuum in the pace bowling department also raised a question or two over the process the BCB is following regarding the nurturing of pace bowlers.
‘At the moment we probably have the best trainer in the world in Stuart Karppinen and we also have the required facilities to succeed,’ Mashrafee told reporters on Wednesday.
‘I have worked under the guidance of Karppinen for the last two months and I can honestly say that we have the best possible facilities for training at the academy,’ said Mashrafee.
Mashrafee added that youngsters should take this chance to prepare themselves for the challenges ahead as they very well know that the labourious workload is the major reason behind every successful paceman’s career.
‘Pace bowling should come from within as it is a very tough job that cannot be entrusted on your shoulder. These youngsters should be able to utilise the present opportunity,’ said Mashrafee.
‘If you don’t prepare yourself to get fit right now, then you never will,’ he added.
He was also optimistic with the performance of the Tigers on the recent tour noting that the first Test loss was the only disappointment whilst he also reserved special mention for pace bowler Robiul Islam for the tremendous effort of sending down 110 overs to take 15 wickets in the two-Test series.
‘I think Robiul (Islam) bowled very well in the series, however, he has a long way to go and he will have many other obstacles in the future,’ said Mashrafee.
‘Yes we lost the ODI series but I won’t blame the team. It’s a one-day game. If you play well, you win, if you
don’t you won’t. It totally depends on a given day. I think the only possible disappointment of the tour was the first Test loss,’ he added.
The 29-year-old Narail lad also hinted at making an attempt to return to Test cricket as he is expected to start his fitness programme in a very short time after his pain in the heel slowly cured.
‘I am trying my level best to get fit for all formats of the game,’ said Mashrafee.
‘As of now it is very premature to comment on anything like returning to Test cricket. But definitely I will try to make a comeback so let us hope for the best,’ Mashrafee added.
BCB physician Debashish Chowdhury added that Mashrafee was looking fine and had recovered sufficiently to start his fitness programme.
‘He (Mashrafee) came for a check-up today (Wednesday) and it’s almost painless. We initially planned to give him an injection if the pain continued but we didn’t do that,’ Debashish told reporters.
‘If this was his situation two weeks before the Zimbabwe series he would have been cleared to go,’ he said.
-With New Age input