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Platoon coach eyes fully-fit Mashrafe

  • Published at 10:06 pm November 30th, 2019
Bangladesh's Mashrafe bin Mortaza attempts to take a catch during training in Mirpur Thursday Dhaka Tribune

The former Tigers’ coaching staff Salauddin informed that Mashrafe was roped in by Platoon for the season with the hope of full availability

Experienced pacer Mashrafe bin Mortaza will be available for the full season, believes Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 side Dhaka Platoon coach Mohammad Salahuddin. 

The former Tigers’ coaching staff Salauddin informed that Mashrafe was roped in by Platoon for the season with the hope of full availability, and that his combo with another A+ category player Tamim Iqbal will be something to look forward to.

Following a long break after the World Cup 2019 in England and Wales in May-June-July this year, Mashrafe got back to action recently and attended bowling in the Platoon nets in the BCB academy premises Saturday. 

Mashrafe has been dealing with a troubled back but did not complain about anything in the nets, hinting at the positive sessions with the BCB physio.

Salauddin believes Mashrafe will soon find his rhythm, backed by the immense experience the right-arm pacer carries.

“I think he is available for the whole tournament and that is why we picked him. He bowled yesterday after a long time. Maybe there will be some complications with rhythm, but I think it will be fine after bowling for some days,” Salahuddin told reporters after their training session at the academy premises.

“The biggest advantage is his experience. You can’t overlook the experience. So when he does play, he will play 100%,” Salauddin added.

Mashrafe’s selection in the players’ draft for the special edition of the BPL had come in late, which paved the way for a few raised eyebrows. 

It is understood that Platoon had reached the consensus of roping in four-time BPL champion captain Mashrafe after the he had gone unsold almost long into the draft. 

Platoon recruited Mashrafe as their second A+ category player in the fourth round of the draft following clearance from the draft commission. 

Platoon had earlier picked Tamim as their first A+ category player.

“I think he [Mashrafe] is more motivated than any other members of our team. He has not started practice from Saturday. He was trying for quite some time to become fit. And no one has noticed that. He has lost weight and is trying to get fit. I think he is more motivated than me,” Salauddin explained.

When quizzed as to why the skipper’s inclusion with the team came late, Salahuddin revealed that it was among the regulations they had to follow in terms of singing the A+ category players.

“Because the process we had to pick players, we could not take two ‘A+’ players together. That’s why we did not pick him first, but if we had that choice to pick initially, we would have picked him,” said Salahuddin.

Platoon opener Tamim has also has been out of action since Bangladesh’s tour of Sri Lanka in August. 

The southpaw first took leave to rest from the home tri-nation T20I series against Afghanistan and Zimbabwe and was then away from national duty for family reasons. 

This is however, not a worry for Salauddin, as he believes both Tamim and Mashrafe can ride back to form backed by their experience. 

“Whether it is Tamim or Mashrafe, they don’t take too much to be back. When a player plays cricket for 10 to 15 years, they are able to grab the basic things quicker than a new player. So if we had doubts with their performance, then we would not pick them. Because I have no doubt, that means they will play well,” said Salauddin.