Although all of his colleagues started individual training way back in July and are playing competitive cricket now, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza was completely away from the action. But the former skipper of the Bangladesh national cricket team has returned to practice after a nine-month-long hiatus. And he may be playing in the ongoing Bangabandhu T20 Cup as it seems.
Gemcon Khulna and Fortune Barishal have shown interest to land the pacer into their side.
Gemcon Khulna manager Nafees Iqbal confirmed the news and said that they have already contacted with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) about the possibility of landing the ex-ODI skipper in their team. They have also inquired about his fitness as he has been away from cricket for a long period of time.
"Everybody will want to take Mashrafe. That's how a big cricketer he is. We too showed our interest. But there are a few things needed to sort out first. His willingness to play for us and his fitness will be important," said Nafees.
Mashrafe's name was not among the players' list during the draft for the Bangabandhu T20 Cup due to his hamstring injury. But BCB did say that any team will have the opportunity to pick him when he gets fit. Khulna will be eager to know about BCB's stand on Mashrafe now before proceeding further.
"We have shown our interest. The rest depends on the board and Mashrafe himself," added Khulna manager.
Nafees also mentioned that any team might want to take him and they rightly have the right to do so. So they have already mailed BCB about their interest and further proceedings ahead. But it still depends on whether Mashrafe will be fit enough to play as he just had a day of practice session after long 9 months. Nafees knows it pretty well and keeping himself reality checked for this.
"Mashrafe is my good friend. We showed interest because he started training. Now it all depends on him whether he will be able to play and join us or any other team," Nafees further said.
Fortune Barishal have also shown interest in him and applied to BCB. Their chairman Mizanur Rahman said that they applied to BCB on December 01 before any other team showed interest in him.
As two teams have now shown interest in Mashrafe, Mizanur Rahman opts for the lottery to pick the pacer.
"We were the first team to show interest in him. Khulna applied just today, we applied to BCB two days earlier. We are really hopeful of landing him to our side," said Fortune Barishal chairman.
The paceman pulled out of the BCB President's Cup citing fitness issues in October.