New Challenge for Mashrafe Mortaza

Shakib and Mashrafe during photo session (1)Bangladesh national team led by Mashrafe Bin Mortaza landed around 4 pm in South Korea and directly went to the games village in Inchon. After some stretching in the first day, the practice sessions will take place from today. Bangladesh wanted to practice in the main venue of the match Ionhai Stadium; the curator of the Ionhai stadium is Bodiul Alam who is a Bangladeshi also. He also tried to make that happen but could not as the wickets are still wet in rain that showered in the final match of women’s cricket. [Check Photo Album: Mushfiqur and Mondi Wedding Reception]

Although cricket was included in the Guanju Asiad, Bangladesh did not send the national team at that time. But this year it is studded with national team stars like Mashrafe, Shakib and Tamim. Everyone seemed excited as it is the first experience of games for many of them. Mashrafe said, “We are for the first time in the Asian games. There are lots of athletes staying together in the games village. We meet and talk with everyone; it is a different experience.”Bangladesh will play directly in the quarter finals as they are the current title holder. The first quarter final will be in 1st of October against the probable ‘A’ group champion Kuwait / Nepal or Maldives. In the other quarter finals Sri Lanka will play against the probable ‘B’ group champion among Malaysia, China or South Korea. The two winners will face each other in the second semi final in 2nd of October.

Mashrafe said, “Undoubtedly Sri Lanka is a strong team; they have good players like Tharanga in the team. But we don’t want to think that far now, we just want to concentrate on our first match at this moment.” But the target is definitely to retain the gold, “We want to proceed with the single match at a time. So we are giving priority in the first match now. But our ultimate target is definitely the gold.”

This time it is also a big challenge for Mashrafe to do well in captaincy. In the previous occasion he could not able to continue the captaincy in the long run due to the injury troubles. How it feels now to be the captain again? “I cannot say anything right at this moment as I’ve just arrived with the team. But I want to do my duty well.” Mashrafe might be appointed as the captain of the ODI team after the Asian games.