Bangladesh’s former captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who never formally retired from cricket, will miss out on the upcoming five-team T20 league starting later this month. A total of 113 cricketers are set to undergo a fitness this week. Mashrafe is not included in the list.
Akram Khan, the chairman of cricket operations committee of BCB, said that Mashrafe is not fit enough to undergo the test, and subsequently, he is set to miss the T20 league.
“He is not fit enough as we came to know talking to him. He might resume playing cricket once he gets fit in future. But for now, he is not going to take part in the fitness test this week,” Akram told the media on Saturday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Mashrafe, who has been a Member of Parliament for almost two years now, played his last competitive cricket match in March this year in the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League. He has been out of any sort of cricket since. He last played an international game early this year against Zimbabwe.
While Mashrafe will be sidelined in the T20 league, Shakib Al Hasan, who was cleared by ICC to take part in any sort of cricket after serving a one-year-long ban, is all set to return to playing competitive cricket. Shakib has already returned to Bangladesh and is set to join the fitness test on November 9.
“I don’t think Shakib will face any problem regarding the fitness. But he has to meet a certain level of fitness to take part in the league. I believe Shakib is capable enough to develop his fitness and play this event starting later this month,” Akram told the media.
As per the draft schedule, the league will kick off on November 21 or 22 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. Before that, a players’ draft will take place on November 12. A total of 160 players will be drafted in the last dividing into four different grades— A, B, C and D, and the teams will have to rope in the players from the list.
This league will be BCB’s second step to normalize cricketing activities at home following the Coronavirus lockdown. They have earlier hosted a three-team 50-over competition which was a 'successful initiative' in BCB's assessment towards that goal.