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  5. 'Taking a spot of youngster': 40-year-old Mashrafe Mortaza under scanner for playing BPL despite being unfit

'Taking a spot of youngster': 40-year-old Mashrafe Mortaza under scanner for playing BPL despite being unfit

Former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza is being criticised heavily for playing in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) despite being unfit. He is currently the captain of Sylhet Strikers, the team that has lost both its matches of the season so far.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Published on: January 24, 2024 13:50 IST
Mashrafe Mortaza, BPL 2024
Image Source : GETTY Mashrafe Mortaza

Mashrafe Mortaza is currently playing in the ongoing edition of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). He is leading the Sylhet Strikers but has come under the scanner for playing despite being unfit. His knees continue to trouble him so much that he even bowled with a run-up of three steps. Mohammad Ashraful has come down hard at him stating that Mortaza is diminishing the standards of BPL  while also alleging him of taking up a spot of the youngster.

Moreover, it has also been reported that Mashrafe himself didn't want to play this season. But the Sylhet owners wanted him to take part in the competition. "He (Mashrafee) got a wicket with his first delivery. Actually when a young player faces him, they are in doubt about whether to hit him or not since getting out becomes a matter of prestige. Maybe that's why they don't play freely. Actually, he [Mashrafe] didn't want to play but the owners wanted him just to be present on the field. I feel that it's belittling the tournament. This kind of tournament is watched all over the world," Ashraful said while speaking to the broadcasters.

"Here we will see our future stars. There is a World Cup in six months and they have Rejaur Rahman Raja in the side, who is sitting in the sidelines. He [Raja] had a chance to do well in this tournament to make a place in the World Cup. That's missing," he added. Meanwhile, Mashrafe Mortaza himself has reacted to the critcism and admitted that situation is not ideal for him to play but also insisted that he cannot explain it. Mortaza didn't even bowl in the last game even as the Strikers went down to Rangpur Riders and batted at number three scoring six runs before getting run-out.

"You cannot explain everything every time. So, what I feel that it's not an ideal situation for me. Yes, that's obvious [passion and love]. But to be very honest in an ideal situation it's better if it doesn't happen. But many things can't be explained. Ideally maybe... I am mostly alright but the knee problem is problematic even though it's small. 

"Whether playing someone would make things better is up to the team. Maybe instead of playing him (Raja) someone else could be played. That's a different thing. The team won't discuss with anyone about whether playing someone would be good. But as you said, in an ideal situation, that is what should have happened (Raja playing since Mash isn't able to bowl)," Mortaza said. Given all his reactions and sharp criticism, it looks all but certain that Mortaza is playing for one last time in the BPL.

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