Another year has gone by. Mashrafe Bin Mortaza turned 37 yesterday. Social media platforms have been filled with good wishes for the Tigers' most successful ODI captain's birthday. Mashrafe has been soaked in fans' love all day long. Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad and other cricketers also wished him on Facebook.
With all this attention being once again given to Mashrafe, the matter of his return to the field has also come to the fore. Although he wants to return to the field, the coronavirus rules will not allow him to return to cricket any time soon. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is going to organise a 50-over tournament from October 11 where the national team, 'A' team and High-Performance teams (HP) will compete against each other.
While other cricketers are eagerly waiting for the return of competitive cricket, Mashrafe is a bit more relaxed. He told The Business Standard that he will not be playing in this tournament. Mashrafe has informed BCB chief selector Minhazul Abedin Nannu of his decision.
Although he is not returning with the ODI tournament, Mashrafe wants to return to the pitch with a Corporate Twenty20 planned by the BCB. He will start practising within the next few days to prepare himself for this. He will stay out of Dhaka for 4-5 days. He can start practising in Mirpur from October 10 after returning to Dhaka.
Before that, Mashrafe will have to make arrangements for field practice by contacting the BCB. Currently, 26 out of 27 players called up for the camp are practising from within the biosecure bubble. Pacer Abu Jayed Rahi has not joined the team yet even though he tested Covid-19 negative a few days back. Mashrafe will have to practice separately as he is not a part of the biosecure bubble. For this reason, he has to talk to the BCB first and confirm about his practice.
"I've been out of cricket for a long time. I have done some fitness training at home. But to return to competitive cricket, I need to prepare myself more. I will be out of Dhaka for the next few days, and after returning to Dhaka, I will talk to the BCB and start practising in 4-5 days " he told The Business Standard.
"It is not possible to play a match instantly after such a long break," Mashrafe said, explaining why he is not playing in the ODI tournament. "(Minhazul Abedin) Nannu Bhai called me to know if I would play. I mentioned that there are some issues including preparation and quarantine. BCB has guidelines about coronavirus. There is a Corporate league and National league; I can probably start with those. First, I need to work on my fitness, then I will focus on my bowling. I will get a couple of months to get back in shape and play cricket again."
The BCB is planning to host the Corporate Twenty20 next November. The country's topmost cricket governing body has already started looking for sponsors. Mashrafe will spend a month in practice keeping this tournament in mind. Then he wants to return to competitive cricket.
Mashrafe has been out of cricket for the last eight months since the series against Zimbabwe in March this year. He had to fight with coronavirus in this period. He was the first among his family to test positive for Covid-19.
It took him 21 days to overcome coronavirus. Some of his family members including his wife, mother, brother also tested positive for Covid-19. All in all, Mashrafe had a tough period of time and could not concentrate on cricket. Although the solo practice sessions started on July 19, Mashrafe did not join any. BCB did not inquire about Mashrafe that much either.
Bangladesh's tour of Sri Lanka did not see the light even after so many discussions and letters. The series has been postponed indefinitely over the disagreement on quarantine period and health regulations. Bangladesh has no international series before January. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is therefore pushing for starting domestic cricket as soon as possible.
Neither the Dhaka Premier League, nor the National Cricket League, nor the Bangladesh Cricket League will be starting anytime soon due to coronavirus.BCB is therefore thinking of a three-team one-day tournament. The BCB is going to organize a round-robin tournament with the cricketers of the national team, 'A' team and High-Performance Team (HP). The still-unnamed tournament may begin from October 11.