Mashrafe bin Mortaza’s absence from the training session drew particular attention as another leader of Dhaka Platoon, left-handed opener Tamim Iqbal, was also absent due to illness
Dhaka Platoon Tuesday held their only practice session in Chittagong ahead of their Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 match against Chattogram Challengers Wednesday.
However, veteran pacer Mashrafe bin Mortaza was nowhere to be found at the nets of MA Aziz Stadium.
Mashrafe’s absence from the training session drew particular attention as another leader of Platoon, left-handed opener Tamim Iqbal, was also absent due to illness.
Tamim is still recovering from a viral fever and expected to join the team in the port city Monday.
In all the teams that Mashrafe had previously featured in, he always played a central role both on the pitch and in training.
@BCBtigers pacer Mashrafe bin Mortaza and opening batsman @TamimOfficial28 got back to action after a long break with the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 Thursday.https://t.co/MZFPA2fvMS#BCBTIGERS #BCB #TIGERS #BANGLADESHCRICKET #BANGLADESH #CRICKET #MASHRAFE— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) December 12, 2019
However, during the Platoon pre-season camp this time around, the pacer was only present for the first two days before taking time off and rejoining the team just before the tournament began.
A section of the cricketing community believes that Mashrafe has been giving less time to cricket since he was elected as a member of parliament in the last general election.
Others believe the former Bangladesh captain was shaken after being left out of the cricketers’ protest on October 21 this year.
On October 21, a section of cricketers from the Bangladesh team called an indefinite strike and placed a 13-point demand before the Bangladesh Cricket Board.
The strike was called off on October 23, after the BCB accepted nine of the demands.
@TamimOfficial28 made a low key start to the BBPL, scoring just five runs, only to come back strongly in the second and third game, scoring a match-winning 74 against Cumilla before a 31 against Thunder.https://t.co/r82wgW0LPs#CRICKET #TAMIM #IQBAL #TAMIMIQBAL #BCBTIGERS #BCB— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) December 16, 2019
However, Platoon team officials said there was no chance of questioning Mashrafe’s motivation and work ethic.
When asked about Mashrafe’s absence from the training sessions, Platoon head coach Mohammad Salauddin said there was nothing to worry about as the veteran bowler was working on his fitness in the hotel gym.
“He [Mashrafe] is fine. I think it is okay if we don’t think about him. He is always fit, and is doing the things that he needs to do now,” Salauddin said.
“He is in the gym. I think it is more important for him to get his fitness back. There is no reason for anyone to think that he is not involved just because he is not on the field [for practice sessions]. He is very much involved. He is busy in the gym and swimming pool, which is needed for him now,” the coach added.
In the three matches Platoon have played in the BBPL so far, Mashrafe has picked up three wickets at an economy rate 7.4.