Published: January 24, 2024, 11:11 AM
Sylhet Strikers captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza admitted that his participation in Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is not ideal as his fitness is not up to the mark at this moment.
The pacer has been struggling with his knee problem since his return to the cricket with BPL after eight months.
He last played the Dhaka Premier League (DPL) in May, 2023. Even though he took a wicket in the first ball after returning to the cricket in the match against Chattogram Challengers, he was criticized for bowling with shortened run-up that clearly showed that he is not fit enough to play cricket.
"It`s not possible to explain everything, every time. Yes there is passion for cricket for my part but I feel that it`s not ideal situation for me (to play the BPL)," Mashrafe said after the match against Rangpur Riders.
His side tasted a four-wicket defeat to Rangpur Riders to concede their second straight defeat in the tournament.
Earlier in the day, former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful lambasted Sylhet Strikers to include Mashrafe in the first XI, saying that the franchise belittled the tournament with such move.
According him, it gave a wrong message since the whole world is watching the tournament.
"He (Mashrafe) actually didn`t want to play but the franchise wants him to play, just to be present on the field. This kind of thinking is belittling the tournament because it`s our prime tournament and it`s being watched by everyone in the world," Ashraful said.
Ashraful also said, Mashrafe`s presence in the XI deprived the young player like Rejaur Rahman Raja to get competitive match experience.
"He has been playing with shortened run-up. Even though he bagged wicket in the first ball but (it doesn`t justify his inclusion). When they are playing Mashrafe, they deprived the likes of Rejaur Rahman Raja as he doesn`t get the competitive match experience. Raja has been a promising player and with T20 World Cup approaching, he needs to play matches."
Mashrafe however didn`t deny the fact.
"It depends on the team about whom they will consider to play in the first XI. But in ideal situation, it should be the case (a young player should play)."