Selectors were in a dilemma of whether to pick pace bowler Mashrafee bin Murtaza for Bangladesh A team’s tour of the UK after the Bangladesh Cricket Board’s medical unit refused to give him all clear about his fitness.
Mashrafee was eying to return to international cricket with the home series against New Zealand and the selectors preferred to give him some much-needed match practice before his intended comeback.
The former national captain is without any competitive cricket since he suffered a heel injury during the Bangladesh Premier League final.
He missed the Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe series because of the injury, but was expected to recover by this time. Mashrafee, however, said his knee, which had had several surgeries, started to give trouble because of his long break from training, denying him his full fitness.
Chief selector Akram Khan, who is so keen to see the paceman travelling with the A team, was understandably very frustrated.
‘It will be very unfortunate if he cannot make the trip,’ Akram told reporters. ‘He needs this tour to regain his fitness. If he cannot make the full tour we will be happy to see him play in the three one-day matches against the England A team.’
Akram added that he will not force Mashrafee to expedite his comeback to competitive cricket.
‘It’s not up to us to judge his fitness. We will take him in the squad only if he is fit,’ said Akram, who was sceptical about the mental strength that Mashrafee showed in a similar situation previously.
Mashrfaee, however, said he has no personal wish and whatever the decision it has to be made by the physio, the coach and the selectors.
‘I want to play because it is always better to play,’ Mashrafee told reporters at Mirpur. ‘There are the coach and the physio and the selectors, who will sit together and take a decision.
‘There was still some pain in my heel during the Zimbabwe tour and I had to play by adjusting with it. As I skipped the tour there was some time on my hand which I used for taking rest to get over the pain.
‘During my rest period I could not continue the rehab for the knee and as a result it has become weak,’ he said.
‘I don’t want to go until the knee is fully recovered. There should not be any hurry because if I become injured again it will be difficult for me to make a return,’ said Mashrafee.
‘I hope the trainer and the physio will consider everything before taking a decision.’