After a long hiatus, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza returned to professional cricket through the recently concluded Bangabandhu T20 Cup. He performed decently in the tournament, picking up seven wickets in only three matches including a five-wicket haul. The former captain is now eyeing the upcoming ODI series against West Indies.
The injury-prone fast bowler last played Test cricket way back in 2009. He has retired from the shortest format three years ago. The 37-year old stepped down from ODI captaincy in March this year but still wants to continue playing for some more time. As the West Indies series is approaching, there has been a lot of speculation regarding his inclusion.
The selectors are not willing to comment but a lot of cricketers want Mashrafe in the side. One of them is right arm fast bowler Al-Amin Hossain. Al-Amin, who played for the same team as Mashrafe, reckons that the presence of an experienced campaigner in Mashrafe will bring good results.
Al-Amin, after the individual practice session at the Academy Ground in Mirpur on Saturday, said, "He is a great leader. I got the opportunity to know him when I spent time with him while playing ODIs and working on fitness. He missed out on a lot of cricket due to injury. Then he came back and performed. I reckon he is in a very good shape. His presence will be good for the team."
Al-Amin believes that Mashrafe is in a good state in terms of fitness but said that it is completely the management's call whether to pick him or not. "The management and the fitness trainer will look into the fitness. I cannot say who will be picked. The decision will only be taken by the management."
The West Indies are scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on January 10. They will start their campaign by playing a 50-over warm-up game at BKSP. In a couple of days, they will play the first ODI at the Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur. After playing the second ODI in the same venue on January 22, the teams will move to Chattogram and play the third and final ODI at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on the 25th.
West Indies and Bangladesh will face each other in the first of two tests in Chattogram that will begin on February 3. The teams will return to Dhaka after the first Test to play the second Test in Mirpur which will begin on February 11.