Gemcon Khulna and Fortune Barishal have shown interest in having the right-arm pacer in the team
Former Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza’s team in the Bangabandhu T20 Cup will be decided through a lottery after two teams expressed interest to include the veteran pacer in the squad for the remainder of the tournament.
Gemcon Khulna and Fortune Barishal have shown interest in having the right-arm pacer in the team.
“We have sent an email to Bangladesh Cricket Board to include Mashrafe in the team and are waiting for a reply from the board,” said a Barishal team official to the media Thursday.
On the other hand, Gemcon Khulna manager Nafees Iqbal also revealed their intention of having the former Bangladesh skipper in the squad.
“Mashrafe is a big name and naturally we are interested. We have emailed to the board for him and now they (board) will decide as other teams also showed interest for him,” Nafees told reporters during Gemcon Khulna team practice at the BCB Academy premises Thursday.
“As his name was not in the draft, all the five teams have the right to avail his services,” Nafees added.
Mashrafe’s name was exempted from the players’ draft list as he was suffering from a knee injury.
BCB later confirmed that the 37-year old can be picked outside the draft subject to the cricketer’s fitness.
Mashrafe earlier did not participate in the BCB President's Cup after testing positive for the novel coronavirus.
Bangabandhu T20 Cup’s technical committee chairman Jalal Younus said Mashrafe will now be put into a lottery as two teams have shown interest.
However, the final decision of Mashrafe participating in the tournament will also depend on the cricketer and his fitness.
“If more than one team are interested in him we will put him in lottery because there should be a level playing field for all the sides. But before anything, he (Mashrafe) has to inform us [the board] that he is fit to play and later we will decide our next course of action,” Jalal explained.
Meanwhile BCB trainer Tushar Kanti Hawlader, who supervised Mashrafe during the individual training session, highlighted the fact that the cricketer is overweight having been away from cricket for over eight months now but added that full fitness can be attained soon.
“The way Mashrafe is practicing, it will not take time for him to get back his fitness. If he wants to play he will play because if he feels he can manage these four overs with this fitness he can play,” Tushar told reporters after watching him closely in the nets as well as his fitness drills.