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September 23, 2008
Mashrafe Mortaza, the Bangladesh vice captain, has said that he too was approached by the ICL to play for the Dhaka Warriors but "refused the offer straightaway" because his priority is "playing for Bangladesh".
"I had received a few phone calls from India, before going to Australia, to join the ICL and build a team but refused the offer straightaway," Mortaza told Tigercricket.com. "That was the end of it for me. I didn't think it was necessary to inform anyone because I was not interested in the offer."
Mortaza also said he didn't think Bangladesh's performance in Australia was affected by the ICL offers. He believed the players "tried their best" and attributed the 3-0 defeat in the one-day series in September to poor batting. Three players from the tour - Farhad Reza, Dhiman Ghosh and Alok Kapali - are among the ICL signees.
Mortaza did not want to mull over the decision taken by 13 Bangladesh players to join the ICL for which they were banned for ten years by the board. "We got to move forward with what we have. I think we have some pretty good players who have come in and they all want to do well," Mortaza said.
After the series defeat against Australia, Mortaza went to Melbourne to see Dr David Young, the surgeon who had operated on his knees five years ago. "He checked my knees and told me there weren't problems with the ligaments," Mortaza said. "That was a big relief as I was obviously a bit tense when I felt pain there.
"However, there was a bit of fluid collection in the left knee but that won't stop me from playing. Dr Young has told me to continue with my natural bowling and has suggested I should get the fluid cleared sometime over the next six to 12 months."
Mortaza said he will need to take six to eight weeks out of the game when he undergoes that minor surgery. Bangladesh are hosting New Zealand for three ODIs and two Tests from October 9.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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