Sports, Cricket

‘Mashrafe won't return to BPL this season’

Published : 15 Feb 2024 08:43 PM

Sylhet Strikers coach Rajin Saleh confirmed on Thursday that Mashrafe Bin Mortaza won't return to the squad to play any match in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) this season.

Mashrafe has taken a break from the BPL to discharge his responsibility as the Whip in the Parliament. The 40-year-old cricketer, representing the Awami League, secured his second consecutive victory in Bangladesh’s general elections. In order to concentrate on his political duties Mashrafe had to temporarily step away from the tournament.

Although there were expectations for him to rejoin the team later in the tournament, the franchise revealed the captain is not returning due to his parliamentary duties. Sylhet Strikers management earlier said Mashrafe will be available to play for the Strikers further in the season if there is opportunity in between his political commitments and schedule. 

"But he has been extremely busy with his office duty (as a Whip). At this moment, there is hardly any chance that he would return to the side," Rajin Saleh told the reporters today in Chattogram. "We hope he will comeback in BPL in the next year."

Vice-captain Mohammad Mithun has been leading the side, but Sylhet's chance to finish as top four looks all bleak. They have so far registered three wins in nine matches and need to win the rest of the three matches if they want to give them any shot to play the playoffs.

"We didn't give up the hopes to play the playoffs. We will play the rest of the three matches to win. Our first target is to qualify (playoffs)," Saleh added. 

"We struggled in the first part of BPL and lost quite some matches which made our task difficult. But it's T20 cricket and anything can happen, so we should take it as a challenge." 

It was not an ideal season for the veteran cricketer as he faced criticism for playing despite not being on top of his fitness. He was seen to bowl with a short run-up due to his dodgy knee.

Mashrafe led the Sylhet Strikers in the tournament, playing 5 matches and taking only 1 wicket with an economy rate of 7.73. He also batted in the top order a few times, but did not have much success.