Bangladesh news December 24, 2010

Mortaza's experience will be missed - Siddons

ESPNcricinfo staff

Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons has expressed his frustration over the latest injury to fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza that has put him in doubt for the World Cup that will be held in the subcontinent next year. Mortaza injured his right knee while batting for his club Abahani in a Dhaka Premier Division League match earlier this week.

"A fit and firing Mash [Mashrafe Mortaza] was obviously our first preference for the World Cup and this is a huge disappointment for Mash and the team as well," Siddons told the Bangladesh newspaper Daily Star from Australia.

The final report of an MRI scan performed on Tuesday confirmed that there had been a near complete tear of the reconstructed anterior cruciate ligament graft on his right knee. Mortaza had surgery on his right knee in August 2009 after he injured it during the first Test against West Indies at St. Vincent in July that year.

An ankle problem ruled Mortaza out for most of the recent home one-day series against New Zealand which Bangladesh won 4-0. He came back for the five-match ODI series against Zimbabwe but said after the first two games that he needed more match practice to get his rhythm back. While Siddons was confident that the bowling attack would be able to cope should Mortaza not be fit in time for the World Cup, he said that Mortaza's experience would be missed.

"The inclusion of Rubel (Hossain) or Nazmul (Hossain) would change the dynamics of the opening attack but I believe that though it would be different it would not be weakened significantly," he said. "The loss of Mash will be seen in his leadership and experience. We cannot cover this aspect of his loss."

This injury is the latest in the long line of injuries for Mortaza. He has undergone six knee reconstructions in the space of eight years, and is currently undergoing a non-surgical treatment for his knee, involving physical therapy and use of a knee brace.