Monday, April 22, 2024

‘Siddons liar, Ashraful traitor’

Tasnim, a second year student of Rajshahi University, never thought a day like this would ever come to her life. The launching ceremony of the biography called, ‘Mashrafee’ not only produced the ‘day of life’ for the young lady but ended the wait for millions of fans of Bangladesh’s charismatic captain to know many facts of his life. An ardent cricket lover, Tasnim, came all the way from Rajshahi to Khulna to be part of this event. But to get a chance to ask her favourite cricketer a question was something beyond her imagination.
During the unique press conference, when only national cricketers had the opportunity to ask any question, Tasnim pleaded to be an exception. Her appeal was finally granted but Tasnim was so excited that she could barely speak.
After finishing her question, Tasnim made her wish clear – she wanted to handshake Mashrafee bin Murtaza for at least once. Mashrafee invited her to the podium and fulfilled her wish.
It was one moment that exemplified how popular Bangladesh’s national cricket captain is to his fans.
Not just among the common fans, Mashrafee is popular to his team-mates as well and the programme provided numerous proofs of that.
Mahmudullah and Tamim Iqbal were looking for an opportunity to thank him for what he has done for them.
At the beginning of his captaincy career in 2009, Mashrafee handed an envelope to each individual at the airport, describing what is expected of him. It left Mahmudullah moved, but he never could tell it to Mashrafee.
Tamim was passing a very bad time during the World Cup 2015. Mashrafee helped him overcome the situation. The way he handled the opener, it made Tamim grateful.
Both Mahmudullah and Tamim went to the podium to express their gratitude. Similarly, manager Khaled Mahmud, who made his Test debut in the same match alongside Mashrafee, described how he made him proud during an A team’s tour to India in 2001.
Mashrafee was moved by their kind words that showered upon him and at times struggled to check his tears. The emotional moments occured at City Inn hotel in Khulna when Mashrafee’s first ever biography authored by sports journalist Debbrata Mukherjee, was launched on Monday.
National coach Chandika Hathurusinghe formally unveiled the cover of the book, the first ever publication of Bangladesh Cricket Supporters Association.
The enormity of occasion even made Hathurusinghe cracking a joke about Mashrafee, though praised his skipper for always giving 200 per cent in the field.
If anyone expects that the biography will ignite some controversies like the other biography does he must be disappointed. In his long career, spanning over one-and-half decade, Mashrafee always avoided controversies and he did the same in his biography as well.
However, he could not hide his frustration about the way he was treated by coach Jamie Siddons prior to the World Cup 2011. Mashrafee, who missed the tournament at home for injury, accused the then coach Siddons for giving him a false promise.
‘There is no point of dragging the controversy newly,’ Mashrafee said in the book. ‘I was only surprised by his lying. He told me you will be in primary squad, we will see your fitness before deciding whether to pick you or not.
‘I thought it was a great opportunity and played a game for Mohammedan. But he completely denied that. Many of you have seen one day I have asked him at the indoor about it. I told him that I did not know that in your culture lying has any place. I knew it only with you.
‘Bangladesh is still suffering from bad effect of his preferential treatment for some players,’ said Mashrafee.
Mashrafee also branded suspended former national captain Mohammad Ashraful as a traitor for indulging in corrupt practice.
‘Even if he [Ashraful] did not betray with the country, he did it with millions of people. In that sense you can say him a big traitor,’ said Mashrafee.

-With New Age input

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