After the ICC Champions Trophy in England, Bangladesh ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza hasn’t played in competitive cricket and a long break from the competitive arena can be harmful for him in the upcoming South Africa tour. But he has already taken a step which will help him to become match-fit before the tough series.
The National Cricket League (NCL) 2017 will be started from tomorrow and Mashrafe will play for Khulna Division in that. It will be his return to the longer version cricket after a long time.
Right-arm pace bowler last played Test against West Indies in 2009 and got injured there. After that he hasn’t played in the elite format of Cricket and his last appearance in NCL was more than 3 years ago.
Recently, Shakib Al Hasan’s break from the Test is the most popular topic in Bangladesh Cricket arena and in such a situation, Mashrafe’s return to the longer format of the game could have said a lot. But Mashrafe cleared the air about this topic and he thinks NCL will help him to be completely match-fit before South Africa series.
Mashrafe talked to Kaler Kontho on Wednesday and there he said that decision to play in NCL had been taken only for performing smoothly in the upcoming series.
While he was asked about the relation between his return to NCL and Shakib’s break, Mashrafe answered with a smile, “There is nothing in this. There is always time for me to take rest. I last played in Champions Trophy although I worked hard in the nets but match practice is completely different.”
He added, “I’ll go to South Africa on 7th October and I want to play in at-least two rounds of NCL before that. If I feel good after playing the first one, then I’ll play the next one. Before going to South Africa, I want to bowl at-least 40-50 overs.”
Later on, Mashrafe was asked about the possibility to see him in the Test format. He said, “I am not thinking about this. I am just playing in NCL to be match-fit.”