Bangladesh star all-rounder Mashrafe Mortaza is enjoying a stellar week on and off the field. At the end of last year, Mortaza became the first active Bangladesh cricketer to be elected to the national parliament after winning the Narail-2 seat with 96 per cent of the votes.
Mortaza went right back to cricket and has shown great form in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League. He picked up two wickets in his first game of the tournament and in his third match , captaining Rangapur Riders, Mortaza decimated a star-studded Comilla Victorians team by picking up 4-11 from his four overs on Tuesday.
Mortaza picked up the scalps of Tamim Iqbal, Evin Lewis, Imrul Kayes and Australian batsman Steve Smith – for a duck – as the Victorians were eventually blown away for 63. It was Mortaza’s best effort in T20 cricket, bettering his previous figures of 4-19.
Mortaza has been having a great time as captain. He led the Tigers to the final of the Asia Cup against India in the UAE where they lost off the last ball of the tournament. He also captained Bangladesh to a home ODI series win over the West Indies in December.
Disgraced Bangladesh batsman Mohammad Ashraful is back in the Bangladesh Premier League after serving a five-year ban for match-fixing in the second edition of the league.
The middle order batsman, 34, harbours hopes of making an international comeback and is looking at the upcoming edition of the BPL – which runs from January 5- February 8 – while playing for the Chittagong Vikings to make his case.
“Obviously, it will be challenging, it’s an international standard tournament and it will count if you play well. As I have the experience of playing 13 years in international cricket, the first two editions of the BPL and also as part of the champion side, I will try to give my best Chittagong Vikings. It is also important that my team gets benefited through my performance,” Ashraful said.
The talented batsman believes he has paid the price for his mistake and deserves another shot at redemption.
“I have faced the punishment for my guilt and was out of this format for five years and nine months. I have admitted my mistake and received the punishment and also played domestic cricket in the last two years. My fans are also waiting for me to play well and wondering whether I will be able to make a return. I will try to play well in the BPL for them, at the same time I will look to make a comeback for our cricket (national team). It will be an example if I am able to return by my performance, and I think it will be challenging,” he added.
Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan was fined 15 percent of his match fees by the the International Cricket Council (ICC) for shouting at the umpire during the first Twenty20 international against West Indies.
Shakib was also handed one demerit point, his second such penalty since the system was introduced in 2016, for the offence during the Tigers’ eight-wicket loss. Shakib was handed one demerit point during a Twenty20 against Sri Lanka in March this year.
Shakib showed dissent after the umpire did not call a wide in the 14th over of the Bangladesh innings.
“He first shouted at the umpire and then got involved in a prolonged discussion,” said an ICC statement.
“After the end of the match, Shakib admitted the offence and accepted the sanction,” it said, adding no formal hearing was required.
Shakib scored 61 off 43 balls in the Sylhet T20. The West Indies bowled out Bangladesh for 129 and reached the target with 55 balls in hand to take 1-0 lead in the three-match series.