Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza has thrown his support behind the six Tigers cricketers who were excluded from the latest central contracts list.
The BCB Wednesday included 10 cricketers in the central contracts list, and ousted six in the shape of pacer Taskin Ahmed, batsman Sabbir Rahman, opener Soumya Sarkar, all-rounder Mosaddek Hossain, pacer Kamrul Islam Rabbi and top-order batsman Imrul Kayes.
The 10 who were named in the central contracts list are opener Tamim Iqbal, Test and T20I skipper Shakib al Hasan, spinner Taijul Islam, wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, batsman Mominul Haque, Mashrafe, pacer Rubel Hossain, spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz, seamer Mustafizur Rahman and all-rounder Mahmudullah.
Mashrafe said, “They are the real future of Bangladesh. It is now our responsibility to support them. I will support them in whichever way I can.
“There are not many alternative players in Bangladesh. And the players who were excluded from the list have shown in their short careers that they are the real future of Bangladesh. I believe if they can maintain consistency and come back to form, they can give service to Bangladesh for a long time. Once, Shakib, Tamim and ourselves were just like them. You can say since there wasn’t much competition back then, we survived.
“They have a lot of expectation on their shoulders. When they play badly, the social media reacts in such a way that it has an effect on them. Cricket has become a much tougher game these days. It is really hard for a 22- or 23-year old to continue to play well after so much criticism. Us seniors will try to assist them to the best of our ability. But they too need to try hard to return to form.”
Exclusion of the six cricketers from the central contracts list was based on performance, informed BCB president Nazmul Hasan. Taskin, Sabbir and Soumya have been at the centre of discussions over their respective pale patches while Imrul, Mosaddek and Kamrul have been irregular in the national team.