Bangladesh national team cricketer Nazmul Islam Opu tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday, as did his parents. The cricketer himself confirmed the news.
All of them have been getting treatment at home.
“I got the message this afternoon confirming that I was exposed to the virus. I am feeling a fever for the last few days. My mother and father have also been suffering from fever and cold for a few days. Now we came to know that we are infected,” Nazmul told the media.
Nazmul came to the limelight for his humanitarian effort to help the people who left stranded due to the coronavirus. He worked so hard in his native area- Narayanganj, which is also the first epicentre of the virus in Bangladesh.
“My mother is doing well, though, she is diabetic. My father has some issues because he has been suffering from heart-related diseases for a long time. I am not that worried about me but about them. Please pray for our recovery,” he added.
This afternoon came with a devastating news that Bangladesh’s former captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, currently an MP, has caught the virus. Hours later, Nazmul’s news also came to the fore.
Also read: Mashrafe infected with coronavirus
Earlier, former Bangladesh cricketer Nafis Iqbal, elder brother of the country’s all-time highest run-getter Tamim Iqbal, also tested positive with the virus. Opu however is the first active cricketer in the country to have extracted the disease.
Former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza was diagnosed with coronavirus on Saturday.
Confirming the information, family sources said he is undergoing treatment in Dhaka.
"He has been suffering from fever for two days. Covid-19 test was conducted on Friday and we got the result today. He has been found positive. He's now staying in isolation at home in Dhaka. Please pray for him," Mashrafe's younger brother Morsalin Bin Mortaza told UNB.
Later, Mashrafe through a post on his Facebook account urged the people to pray for his speedy recovery.
"I have been tested positive for COVID-19. I hope you will pray for my quick recovery,” Mashrafe wrote in his social media handle.
The former skipper also cautioned people to be more careful pointing out a huge number of confirmed cases in the country.
He said “the total infection in Bangladesh just crossed one lakh. We have to be more cautious now. We have to make sure we don't get out of the home without any reason.”
Mashrafe said he is taking treatment at home and following medical advisory. “Don't be scared about the coronavirus, we rather need to increase awareness," he added.
Earlier on May 18, Mashrafe sold his favourite bracelet at Tk 42 lakh in an online auction for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
Also Read - Mashrafe's bracelet sold at Tk 4.2 mn in auction
The entire money earned from the sale of the bracelet will go to Mashrafe's 'Narail Express Foundation'. From there, the money will be spent for people affected by coronavirus.
Earlier on May 12, Mashrafe, an MP from Narail-2 constituency, sought an intensive care unit (ICU) for Narail Sadar Hospital from Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to face the coronavirus crisis.
He was working in his constituency during the pandemic.
Bangladesh has so far reported 1,08,714 coronavirus cases and 1,425 deaths.
Former Bangladeshi cricketer Ramchand Goala passed away at his residence in Mymensingh. He was 79.
“A prominent and popular player in the domestic circuit, especially of the Dhaka club cricket scene, Goala breathed his last at his home in Mymensingh this morning at the age of 79. The BCB extends heartfelt condolences to the family of Ramchand Goala,” said a press release of Bangladesh Cricket Board.
“Ramchand Goala received his first National Team call up when he was past 40 and he was playing at club level until 53 years of age. He is a unique example of mental and physical fitness, passion for the game and most importantly self-discipline. These are traits the cricketers of today should aspire to emulate,” chairman of BCB media and communication committee, Jalal Younus, was quoted in the release.
The Cricketers’ Welfare Association of Bangladesh (CWAB) also condoled the death of Ramchand Goala. They stated the former left-arm spinner was very popular among the cricketers during his cricketing days
He was best known for his 15-year-long stint for Abahani Limited during his cricketing days.
Goala, a left-arm spinner, passed the biggest part of his life in Mymensingh. It is believed that due to his reluctance to come to out from Mymensingh, cost him his career.
Bangladesh all rounder Mohammad Saifuddin insisted that he will be glad if he gets close to what Masrhafe Bin Mortaza and Shakib Al Hasan did for Bangladesh cricket.
In a recent interview, Saifuddin also revealed how crazy he was as a supporter of Shakib during his early cricketing days.
Saifuddin was inducted to international cricket in 2017 in a T20I match against Sri Lanka in Colombo. In the same series, Bangladesh’s then captain Mashrafe told goodbye to T20I cricket. In October same year, Saifuddin got his ODI cap against South Africa in at Kimberley.
Till the date, Saifuddin represented Bangladesh in 22 ODIs and 15 T20Is. Within the first three years of his international career, Saifuddin is often compared with Mashrafe and Shakib as the future star of the Tigers. However, Saifuddin believes what Mashrafe and Shakib have been doing for Bangladesh since their debut is enormous.
“To be honest, I feel proud when people compare me with Mashrafe bhai or Shakib bhai. As a human being, it’s always good to hear own fame. But I don’t take this seriously. Both of Mashrafe and Shakib bhai played more than 200 ODIs each. In contrast, I didn’t do anything to be proud of. I think I am at the primary stage of my career,” Saifuddin told during an interview with sports presenter Noman Mohammad.
“But yes, this comparison helps me get more confident and play well. Masrhafe bhai told in an interview before the World Cup that I’m an asset. It’s a great honour that they have a belief in me,” Saifuddin added.
The allrounder said he always tries to perform well to justify his comparison with Mashrafe and Shakib. He said, “I always try to perform well so that I get close to what they did for Bangladesh cricket. Let’s see what time offers me.”
The 23-year-old allrounder also revealed how crazy he was as a supporter of Shakib during his early cricketing days. He said it was like a dream comes true for him to play with Shakib in the same team and share the dressing room with the best allrounder of the country.
“I used to wear 75 no jersey when I was a player in the age-level cricket as Shakib bhai also wears this jersey. But when I got a call in the national team in 2017, Shakib bhai told me that he will continue to wear this jersey throughout his career. He also told me to wait to get this jersey jokingly. I told him to allow me to wear jersey no 74 so that I remain close to him,” Saifuddin said in the interview.
“I follow Shakib bhai since my early cricketing days. I saw him for the first time during our U-15 camp back in 2010. He came to our camp and gave a speech. It was very encouraging for us,” he added.
Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful said he is still optimistic about his return to the national side.
The right-handed batsman, who will turn 36 soon, said he will try for more three or four more years to make a comeback.
Ashraful played his last international match in 2013. After that, he was omitted from the national set-up due to his involvement in a match-fixing scandal in Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
Ashraful served a punishment of three years after he was found to be guilty and returned to domestic cricket in 2018 but failed to perform well. However, he never lost his confidence.
Ashraful, the youngest Test centurion on debut, believes if a batsman has good fitness and perform well, he can play international cricket even at 40.
“We have seen many players who played at the international level even after 40. If you look at Shoaib Malik (Pakistan); he played his first international match in 1999, and he has still been playing. So it’s not impossible. I will also keep trying to get back to the national team for the next 3-4 years,” Ashraful told in a recent interview.
“I started playing in international cricket when I was just 17. Many of my former teammates became selectors or coach. But I believe I still have plenty of cricket in me. I will definitely try my best in the coming years (to make a comeback),” he added.
In his last international series till date, Ashraful hit 190 runs against Sri Lanka at Colombo. In the same match, Mushfiqur Rahim registered the maiden double-ton for Bangladesh in Test.
After coming back to play competitive cricket serving a three-year ban, Ashraful hit five List-A centuries in 2018, but that was not enough to convince the selectors to consider him for the national team.
Ashraful played 177 ODIs, 61 Tests and 23 T20Is for the Tigers. He amassed 3,468, 2,737, 450 runs respectively in ODIs, Tests and T20Is. He also hit nine centuries in international cricket along with the highest individual score of 190 runs.
The right-handed batsman cemented his place in Bangladesh’s cricket history hitting a ton on his Test debut. He also drew the attention of the cricketing world smashing a match-winning century against Australia back in 2015 in England. That was only the second ODI century for a Bangladesh batsman.