Mashrafe and Taskin
Prothom Alo

Bangladesh pacer Taskin Ahmed was approached by Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Lucknow Super Giants for the ongoing edition of the tournament. But the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) refused to release him to keep him for the forthcoming two-Test series against South Africa.

A similar situation had emerged in 2019, when BCB didn’t release Mustafizur Rahman for the IPL as they wanted to keep him available for an away Test series against Sri Lanka. That series, however, got cancelled later. The board then compensated Mustafiz by handing him Tk 3 million.

Former Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza said that Taskin deserves a similar compensation from the board for his sacrifice while speaking to the media after a training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka on Sunday.

“Definitely”, Mashrafe said when asked whether or not Taskin should be rewarded by the board. “If you look at (James) Anderson and (Chris) Broad, the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) always rewards them for choosing to play for the country over the IPL. A player will also feel better when this happens as he would think that the board is taking care of him.”

Mashrafe Mortaza (L) and Taskin Ahmed (Right) celebrate after dismissing India's batsman Ajinkya Rahane during their 2015 Cricket World Cup quarter-final match in Melbourne on 19 March 2015
AFP file photo

Mashrafe has criticised the national team’s coaching staff, especially head coach Russell Domingo, on many occasions in the past. Right before the South Africa series, he said that the senior cricketers’ relation with the head coach is souring.

But Mashrafe praised the coaching staff after the Tiger’s historic One-Day International series win in South Africa, “Credit must be given to the members of the coaching staff. Behind every victory, everyone plays a part. In our country, only cricketers face criticism when we lose. It’s very important to make sure that the 11 players who are playing in the field are in a good frame of mind.”

Mashrafe is also optimistic about the current ODI team’s chances in the next 50-over World Cup, which will be played in India in 2023, “You need luck in your favour to win the World Cup. After the 2019 World Cup, I said that this team has everything it needs to become champion. But the cricketers need to remain fit. There are still one and half years to go. They have many series in front of them. They have to finish those well. The important cricketers need to enter the World Cup in good form. I believe that this team will make it to the semifinals. Especially as the matches will be taking place in India. But playing well is not good enough, they will also need luck.”

“The ODI team is playing better than 2015 and we can expect good things from it. Not just the fans, the players themselves believe that. We have won most of our home series in the last 5-6 years. We have also done well in some away tournaments and won our first tri-nation series away from home. Now we have reached another level higher and won a series. We need to maintain this performance,” said Mashrafe, who captained the team in the 2015 and 2019 World Cups.