Bangladesh news November 5, 2010

Mortaza looks to be fit for Zimbabwe series

ESPNcricinfo staff

Fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza, currently nursing an ankle injury, has started bowling in the nets in a bid to return for Bangladesh's upcoming one-day series against Zimbabwe. Mortaza bowled for twenty minutes with a short run-up yesterday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

"I'm just trying to get my confidence back, and that's why I'm bowling a few overs with a short run-up. I felt a little bit of pain. It's my destiny that I must play with pain. I'm ready to take up the challenge," Mortaza told the Daily Star.

Mortaza, then the Bangladesh captain, twisted his ankle during the first ODI against New Zealand on October 5, and missed the remaining four matches of that series. Shakib Al Hasan captained Bangladesh in his absence.

Mortaza said he was hopeful of recovering before next month's Zimbabwe series. "You know it takes at least three months to fully recover from the pain if you suffer an ankle injury. I'm really looking forward to playing against Zimbabwe."

However, Dr Debashish Chowdhury, the Bangladesh Cricket Board physician, said that it would take two more weeks for Mortaza to return to action. "You can't say that he's started bowling at full throttle. I think he is just trying to gain some confidence," Chowdhury said. "In this situation everything will depend on his mental strength. He must be careful because another injury may jeopardise his career."

Mortaza has struggled with numerous injuries throughout his career. However, he has been included in the preliminary squad for the Zimbabwe series and if fit, is expected to reclaim the leadership role from Shakib.

The five-ODI series starts next month with the first match at Mirpur.