Sports desk: There were many who saw the twilight of his career but Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, for even now, in the autumn of his career, stands tallest of all. It looks that he is the eternal and immovable when it comes to thrive in the tough competition. Even at the age of 35 and amid the rise of so many energetic youngsters, he made the record of grabbing highest wicket in List A cricket amongst the Bangladeshi bowlers in a single league.
It looks it would happen in any time as Mashrafe, who has been dubbed as Narail Express, has been in the form of his life, taking wickets at such ease that he was competing with himself only. However on his 15th match of the league, he became the highest wicket-taker of the ongoing Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League after his three for 32 against Khelaghar Samaj Kallyan Samity yesterday. In doing so, he took his wicket-tally to 38, bettering the record of Abu Haider Rony who took 35 wickets in the last season for Gazi Group Cricketers.
After the Premier League got the List A status in 2013, Mashrafe hardly had any success in this league until he broke through emphatically in the ongoing season. His highest wicket-tally was 29 in a single league in 2009-10 season when he led Abahani the championship title.
This year also he was the part of Abahani team who appears to regain the title after a year. As he makes the 2019 World Cup ‘birds eye’, Mashrafe gives a continuous proof that he could start the global event as Bangladesh’s leading bowler. This year, he also slammed his first hat-trick in his career and not only so. He grabbed four wickets in five balls including a hat-trick against Agrani Bank in BKSP, a record that only seven bowlers could achieve apart from him in the List A cricket history.
“This was the best chance to express myself,” said Mashrafe after the feat. “My personal target was to get me in good shape, to have good preparation for the next assignment. The good thing is that I can so far achieve my goal and it’s the thing that pleases me most.”
“I tried some new things in the league and to my luck that works well. It’s not an international quality league but it is the best platform to prepare yourself.”
Mashrafe thinks that the inspiration to do well came from the core of his heart.
“I knew that I would play the whole league since I retired from the T20 cricket and didn’t go to play the Nidahas Trophy. So I was mentally prepared and did fitness training. I feel physically well, which was the best satisfactory things for me,” he said. The lanky paceman also pointed out the experience of playing long time which he believed helped him.
“I have control on myself and I know how to manage me well. It comes from the experience that helped me to perform better on the field. Not only me, I think every player achieves control power as he becomes experienced and play many matches,” he remarked. As a fast bowler, Mashrafe was pleased to see some many young fast bowlers competing each other to make them capable for the national team.
“If you look at the top bowling chart, you will see five or six fast bowlers in the top 10. This is really satisfying. We need some consistent performer in the national team. I believe these fast bowlers are capable of being consistent in the international level. There are some fast bowlers like Quazi Anik, Shakil, some Under-19 bowlers who impresses me. I hope they will keep it up.”