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 action. But the former skipper of the Bangladesh national cricket team has returned to practice after a nine-month long hiatus.
Mashrafe, on Tuesday, turned up at the academy ground in Mirpur and trained after almost nine months. He did some bowling and running there, supervised by Tushar Kanti Hawlader, the trainer of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). He sent down five overs and later spent some time in the gym.
As the players participating in the ongoing Bangabandhu T20 Cup are in a bio-secure bubble and practice at the academy ground, Mashrafe had to be Covid-19 negative to train there. He acquired the Covid-19 negative certificate and after getting the green signal from the cricket operations, the fast bowler turned up at the academy ground. Then he practiced maintaining social distancing.
Mashrafe last played international cricket in March. It was the same series during which he stepped down from the role of ODI captain. Later, he played a match for Sheikh Jamal in the Dhaka Premier League (DPL). Since then, cricket had been on hold because of the breakout of Covid-19. But the cricketers started individual training amid Covid-19 in July. But Mashrafe did not participate in that.
Mashrafe had to go through a tough period in terms of health as he was the first person of his family to test positive for Covid-19. Many of his family members also suffered from it.
The paceman pulled out of the BCB President's Cup citing fitness issues. He was set to return to cricket through the Bangabandhu T20 Cup. But prior to that, he picked up a hamstring injury while running. He has recovered from that and started training ahead of his return.
But it is not yet certain whether he would be able to play in the tournament even if he passes the fitness test. As per the rule set by the BCB, Mashrafe can be picked as a replacement of an injured player.
Therefore, there is a chance of him being picked by Gazi Group Chattogram as Mominul Haque has been ruled out of the tournament due to a thumb injury. But the team did not inform anything regarding this.