Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, a former Bangladesh ODI captain, made headlines on Friday by taking a wicket with his first ball in this season’s Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
However, the veteran has been dealing with physical difficulties since returning to cricket after a lengthy absence, and his franchise’s choice to assign him the leadership has prompted concerns about the BPL’s intrinsic lack of quality.
It had been around eight months since he last played competitive cricket in the Dhaka Premier League.
BPL: A league with no purpose.
Mashrafe is heading Sylhet Strikers in the BPL this season, having won the franchise competition the most times as a captain for numerous franchises during his distinguished career. He has participated in a match against Chattogram Challengers, which his team lost by seven wickets. Although he took a wicket with his first ball, the finale was not pleasant as Chattogram’s Najibullah Zadran hammered him for 16 runs in three deliveries of the 19th over to win the game.
Mashrafe attended his first practice session of the season yesterday and focused on his batting. It’s possible that the veteran may struggle with the BPL grind. While his passion to the game remains an example, playing him calls the team’s ambitions for the BPL into question.
When Mashfare got on the pitch, numerous people checked on his legs, and after his low-intensity batting session against spinners, he struggled to remove his pads.
“Actually, rather than Mashrafe bhai’s performance, him just being in the field is the main motivation for us,” Zakir Hasan, who made an unbeaten 70 off 43 deliveries in the loss to Chattogram, remarked at the press conference when asked about the veteran’s involvement.
“Him being there makes decision-making easy which is what I felt and that’s important for us,” he said.
When asked whether Mashrafe will bat more than bowl in their next game, Zakir replied: “I believe it would be better to ask bhaiya (Mashrafe) the question instead of me since he batted for the first time this season in a practice session. He attended prior sessions as well, but maybe he is attempting to prepare himself with the bat.”
While there are players eligible for leadership, including Najmul Hossain Shanto, Bangladesh’s stand-in skipper across forms, Sylhet chose Mashrafe’s tried-and-true abilities.
Prior to the commencement of the competition, there were suspicions over whether Mashrafe would lead the team, but these theories died down once an official press release announced the captaincy assignment. There are also speculations that he did not want to assume the leadership but did so at the franchise’s insistence.
The BPL originally imposed requirements like as requiring a 140 km/h pacer in the assault for both teams. While the BPL’s standards looked to be deteriorating over the years, the past season provided some novelty to the competition. Only time will tell if the comeback of competitiveness can last considering the fitness level of one of its main players.