It was quite a surprise for the media personnel when Imrul Kayes, after his match-winning knock against Sylhet Thunder in the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 2019, blamed the media for his dip in performance for the national team.
Imrul was asked that despite his credentials in the domestic circuit, his performances were not up to the mark in the international arena. Imrul, to the surprise of everyone, answered that it was the media's questions which affected his performance in national colours.
Earlier, Bangladesh Test captain Mominul Haque had earlier charged the media on 14th November at Indore during Bangladesh's Test series against India saying that the media had a big role in their performances.
Mashrafe Mortaza, the skipper of Bangladesh ODI side and BPL side Dhaka Platoon, was questioned if blaming the media was logical. He said that a player should think about playing more than anything else. The veteran said, "Condemning the media won't help my performance. If the media keeps on blaming me, that will be because of my performance on the field. If the news bothers me, it is better to ignore it. Normally I have heard from big players that they do that. What I think is, it is important for everyone to take a stand in their respective professions. If you are a player, you should think about playing rather than anything."
The 36-year old further said that it is better if everybody focused on their respective jobs. "Professionally, either I play well or don't, you are obliged to write, so there is nothing to take personally. What I think is that some players read and watch the news and it gets into their head, which is really unnecessary. If you think from a professional aspect, you (the media) are somewhere, the players are somewhere, so it is normal that everyone will do their job," he explained.
He also asked the media to not take it personally because some players are not accustomed to handling these matters.
Mashrafe's team Dhaka Platoon kicked off the tournament in a regretful way with a huge nine-wicket defeat. He was asked if it was because of the team not being fine-tuned, Mashrafe said that it would be sort of an excuse to say that and there was time to recover. He said, "It takes a bit of time for players to come from around the world and adjust but stating that as a reason will be sort of an excuse. It is a long tournament, we did a few mistakes today. As the match is tomorrow, there is not much room for thinking, we will try to rectify the mistakes we did and will try to do better where we should have."
He further added, "What is important is to play as a team, which was missing today. The wicket was good today. Generally, the wickets in Mirpur are not like this. We were on our way to 160 at one point, but the run-outs made us miss that mark. Overall what I think is that there is nothing to be worried at this point."
Asked if he had any personal targets, he said, "I don't think there is anything to target in BPL. But obviously, I will try to do my best for the team. As I returned after a long time, there was a bit of hesitation but I think it will be easier after a couple of matches."
Tamim also returned to cricket after some time as he was out of cricket since Bangladesh's tour of Sri Lanka. Mashrafe was asked if Tamim's form was a concern and he disagreed. "I don't think there is much to think about Tamim. Even in the last year, Tamim played like this throughout the tournament but it was his innings which mattered in the final," Mashrafe stated.
Mashrafe reportedly is carrying some niggles and he was inquired about that. He replied that he had a slight discomfort in his back and hoped to be fit soon. He said, "I was out for a long time, there should not have been any niggles but there is. I have overcome these niggle before and hopefully, everything will be alright."
Mashrafe also said that it was a great opportunity for the local youngsters to establish themselves through this BPL and he was looking forward to giving them chances. "What I think is this is a great opportunity for local youngsters. They will play under pressure, handle foreign bowlers. As captain, I am thinking more about them playing well under pressure and establishing themselves rather than the balance of the team."
Dhaka Platoon will play their second match of the tournament tomorrow at 6:30 PM BST against Cumilla Warriors at the Mirpur Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.