October 24, 2001

Valid chances for Khaled Mahmood and Mashrafe

Staff Correspondent

There are some valid chances for two Bangladesh-A team players to wear Test caps for the approaching two Test series against Zimbabwe starting from November this year.

The Bangladesh-A team skipper Khaled Mahmood, a veteran all rounder, is displaying his superb form in the tour in India that is still running. Before that Khaled showed outstanding performances in the practice matches held in Dhaka too. In a three-day match against Mumbai Cricket Association he mauled the local bowlers to score 57 valuable runs off only 66 balls. He and Sanwar Hossain acted as the run provider to take Bangladesh-A innings to a moderate 218. But Khaled Mahmood's knock deserves honor because five of the batsmen returned with ducks in that innings.

Mahmood is utterly hopeful for a comeback in the senior team and his chances are strong. It was Mushfiqur Rahman who was holding his position in Bangladesh's tour in Zimbabwe in April 2001. However, Mushfiqur failed to carry off some success in that tour that resulted an eventual drop from the squad. Mushfiqur, who was branded as a batting all rounder proved abortive with the bat too.

Khaled Mahmood has an added quality besides being a batting all rounder like Mushfiqur - he is a good inspirer and a coordinator between the team's junior and senior players. His performance in the Green Delta League 2000-2001 and Premier league 2000-2001 was excellent. So, warm welcome waits for Mahmood, we expect.

The second possible inclusion might not surprise the cricket fans of Bangladesh, as his performances have repeatedly hit the headlines of the medias. Mashrafee-Bin-Mortaza's sudden appearance in the scenario as the fastest bowler of country is really a wonder. It happened when Andy Roberts came here as a short-time bowling coach and Mashrafee was practicing as an Under-19 boy. He was bowling too fast that day making the batsmen move from side to side to evade his hostile short-pitchers.

His pace and aggressive approach captivated Roberts, who himself was a nightmare to his contemporaries. Roberts's guideline had done the trick - Mashrafee played terrifically well in the practice matches grabbing vital wickets for his team. He was given a chance to Bangladesh-A, which seems to give him another viable opportunity to wear the Test cap.

Against Mumbai Cricket Association he brought off 4 wickets for 43 in the same match where Mahmood notched up 57. In the second innings the host team lost three wickets in the second innings at the stumps and Mashrafee removed two of them. This prodigious kid has qualities to turn out to be a genuinely quick bowler - he possess a strong sturdy physic, has sheer pace and stamina with an aggressive frame of mind.

We are not sure whom Mashrafee is going to replace but we are hoping he could get a break at least.

Comments