Former Bangladesh captain Khaled Mahmud became the latest person to speak on the burning discussion of veteran pacer Mashrafe bin Mortaza’s return to Test match cricket. According to Mahmud, who is an influential BCB director, Bangladesh Test captain Shakib al Hasan has said to include Mashrafe in the Test squad.
Mashrafe’s return in the white outfit has been an interesting issue recently and Mahmud’s comment in the media came within a couple of days after BCB president Nazmul Hasan questioned Mashrafe’s fitness for longer-version cricket.
Mahmud informed that Shakib in a meeting before leaving for the Indian Premier League 2018 earlier this month had proposed bringing back Mashrafe to Test cricket. Mahmud claimed Shakib said bringing back Mashrafe would prove to be a wise decision.
“Shakib thinks it will be good for the team if Mashrafe returns to Test cricket. He (Mashrafe) can swing the new ball and we need such kind of a bowler in the team. The team will be benefitted if Mashrafe can bowl around 15 to 20 overs,” informed Mahmud to the media Sunday.
Mahmud believes Mashrafe does have the fitness to play longer-version cricket.
“It will not be bad if he can return as we need a bowler who has the ability to swing the ball. He is also vastly experienced,” said Mahmud.
Mahmud’s comment came after BCB boss Nazmul undermined the possibility of Mashrafe returning to Test cricket while interacting with the media Friday.
“I am not aware if he is fit for Test cricket,” Nazmul had said. “Which country does he want to play Test cricket in? Abroad? He will have to bowl around 20 to 25 overs a day. If he and team physio think his fitness is right to play the format, he is most welcome,” the BCB chief added.
“In what form does he want to get into the team – a batsman or a bowler? That’s a big question. He should play any format if his fitness is right. It is really tough to get a player like him. But we think he should play T20I if he is playing ODI. He should be able to bowl four overs if he is bowling 10,” said Nazmul.
Talks of Mashrafe’s potential return to Test cricket started after the right-arm pacer during his appearance in the recently-concluded Bangladesh Cricket League informed of him being fit to play Test cricket.
“I might be 35 but I still have the fitness. I believe I still have two years of Test cricket in me,” said Mashrafe.
Mashrafe last played a Test for Bangladesh in 2009 during the tour of the West Indies where he had picked up severe injury. He later got ruled out from the format.