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7.4 Mashrafe Mortaza to Dravid, OUT: Out!!!. comprehensively beaten by the swing, this time a delivery that jags in and Dravid misread the delivery and shoulders arms, The delivery jags back in and uproots the stumps behind him. Good bowling by Mortaza this!
The vigil is over.

The Return Of Mashrafee Mortaza

Published: 11th December, 2004


7.4 Mashrafe Mortaza to Dravid, OUT: Out!!!. comprehensively beaten by the swing, this time a delivery that jags in and Dravid misread the delivery and shoulders arms, The delivery jags back in and uproots the stumps behind him. Good bowling by Mortaza this!

Mashrafee celebrates after clean bowling Dravid

The vigil is over. Mashrafee Mortuza is back and has promptly reopened his old account with the wicket of Rahul Dravid. Throughout the course of the year we held our breath as each piece of news emerged detailing the pacer?s progress of rehabilitation. From the most pessimistic prognosis of his early departure from cricket and to the more bombastic prediction that he is our next Courtney Walsh, it is none other than Masri, who attracts such persistent chatter amongst Banglacricket fans. Ever since I had the privilege of witnessing his debut spell at BNS back in 2001, I have counted myself as part of the latter group of optimistic fans.

Yesterday, not only did Masri bowl to line and length but also he did it with sufficient pace to trouble all the Indian batsmen. Above all it was his fresh optimism that rubbed off on the team. And it was not an overstatement on the part of commentators to say that when Masrafee bowls the team feels upbeat and the rest of the bowlers feel pumped up. This is also what great pace bowlers possess. An extra dimension of aggression that make them part of an offensive bowling attack.

It is still early days to outline what the impact of his absence has been on his bowling but after seeing him in action yesterday it was reassuring to see that the 22 overs that he bowled were tight and executed with minimum stress. Credit also should go to the coach and captain for keeping a reasonable plan of the sequence and numbers of overs he had to bowl.

Although he has emerged from a litany of unfortunate injury mishaps he could come out a more mature young man. And perhaps a more potent force as his yearlong absence has sharply focused his career. He also resurfaces at a time the tigers are more desperate. However, for Masri it is the improved fitness coaching environment and the impact of sports science in Bangladesh cricket that will slowly but surely have an influence in how he is managed.

We fans at Banglacricket have our list full of worries about the future of the ?Team?. But one of the constant alarm bells that without fail rings is the so-called "lack of pacers" in Bangladesh. So when Masri stepped into the picture we sighed a breath of relief that here at last we had a decent pacer with the height and determination to change history. Despite all the doomsday tales of wrong pitches, diet and the eternal cry of the wrong physique, the nation proved its detractors wrong and produced Mashrafee. But has the homework been completed?

No. For to survive in international cricket we cannot be satisfied with Mashrafee as a one time phenomenon from Narail. Unfinished tasks remain and we can start by training our youngsters from the very early age to inculcate the necessity of basic fitness. Through reliable cricket schools such as BKSP and its High Performance Unit they should be offered a better platform to launch their career

It would be simply heartening if we find another 'great' fast bowler tomorrow but we also need to have a good look at our infrastructure and especially the pitches. The neglect of pitches and the consequences of under par pitches on the development of pacers are severe. It is no accident that the West Indies has fallen back on producing great pacers. They have suffered immensely from a lack of international standard pitches that have adversely affected their bowling. It is a matter that our planners need to look at seriously but could be corrected with greater use of technology and expertise that will lead to better pitches with more bounce.

We should not forget that Masrafee, one of our finest talents, was discovered, in a camp organized by National Sports Council (NSC). So in conjunction with developments in Bangladesh cricket we should also continue this ?search?. Let there be more Mashrafees and let?s hope Dudhia's words become realty:

"We know that somewhere/anywhere around the country, a lot of talent is hidden, and our task is to find them"


The author is a moderator of banglacricket forum and goes by the nick "oracle" - editors


About the author(s): G. M. Bashar is a BanglaCricket supermoderator who is known as "oracle". He is a prolific contributor to our collection of fine articles. In addition to his obvious interest in cricket, he also has a keen desire to be our own version of David Frost - exemplified by the large number of interviews he has taken of key Bangladesh cricket personalities.


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