Bangladesh v Australia, 1st ODI, Mirpur April 8, 2011

Mortaza ready for action, says Shakib


Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh seamer, has cleared himself to play against Australia in the three-match limited overs series starting on Saturday in Mirpur, his captain Shakib Al Hasan has said.

A combination of fitness issues and the poor health of his wife had left 27-year-old Mortaza a doubtful starter for quite some time after he missed the World Cup with a knee problem. But Shakib indicated on the eve of the first ODI that Mortaza was allowed to make up his own mind about participating in the series, and had chosen to stay.

"He decided he'll be staying with the team and he'll be part of this series," Shakib told reporters at the Shere Bangla Stadium.

There could be plenty of difficulty in all this for Mortaza, as whispers of board pressure have also swirled around his presence in the squad.

"I think it would not be wise to talk about the issue now. What I can say is that I am honest in my position. It would be good not to make public what happened before the selection," Mortaza said this week in response to questions about whether he had been consulted prior to selection.

"I'm giving 100% in my bowling and it's not as if I was far away from my standard. But it could have been much better if I got at least one more week for preparation. Physio (Michael Henrry) also told me that I need a few more days for gaining full fitness.

"Because of family problems I was out of touch for almost 40 days which made it difficult for me to regain full fitness. As a player I want to play this series but I have to think about my team also."

As for the series, which forms an odd little postscript to unsuccessful World Cup campaigns for both sides, Shakib refrained from any bold statements. "I don't think it will be easier for them, it will be always a hard game," he said of Australia. "The three matches we're playing will be very competitive. I'm not putting any number, or whether we'll win any games or not.

"I think it will be a very competitive series."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 9, 2011, 2:22 GMT

    Good luck Mashrafe- though personally I think, he is not the bowler he was 4 years ago! Still Bangladesh will give the Aussies all they can handle. Bangladesh is a much better team than how they played in the WC! They just could not handle the pressure of the home fans' passion and expectations!

  • Cric on April 8, 2011, 18:27 GMT

    Even the return of the Jedi can't save bang from getting humiliated (once again!) by the Aussies.

  • Dummy4 on April 8, 2011, 16:48 GMT

    It'll be a pleasure to see Mortaza on action. No doubt- u r the best pace bowler in BD. Best of luck MASH!!!

  • Dummy4 on April 8, 2011, 14:49 GMT

    I think that No body is above the interest of Bangladesh. If Mortuza is not fit, he shouldn't be allow to play this series because of his past contribution or by his name. An unfit player shouldn't play for Bangladesh because of he is a Star or something. We need fit players who could show their guts on the field. We don't need anybody who is unfit for this series. Good Luck Bangladesh.

  • shameem on April 8, 2011, 14:23 GMT

    @banglacricketfan --- little change in batting order -- send Nafees before raqibul -- you've selected a good team. Thanks.

  • Dummy4 on April 8, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    in this presents situation nazmul is better than mashrafee.

  • Dummy4 on April 8, 2011, 10:41 GMT

    yes whe need mash badly as a match winner like india has zaheer khan

  • Sabyasachi on April 8, 2011, 10:20 GMT

    is it true? he withdraw himself yesterday.

  • Alexander on April 8, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    His presence will lift the Bangladeshi Attack...

  • Ken on April 8, 2011, 10:12 GMT

    Great to see mashrafe back. Mashrafe and Shafiul opening the bowling could be a v.good combination with Rubel bowling later with reverse swing. Hopefully Raqibul will bat in the top order. My team would probs be:Tamim, Imrul, Raqibal, Shariar, Shakib, Kapali, Mush, Mash, Shafiul, Razzak and Rubel. What does everyone else think?

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