Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is all about heart, courage and his never-say-die attitude. When he talked to this reporter at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday, the man dubbed the Narail Express spoke of his desire and determination to play a part in the Bangladesh team for the ICC 2011 World Cup.
It was unmistakably evident that a brave and jovial Mashrafe had recovered from the initial distress after sustaining an injury to his right knee a week ago.
“Only a brave man can achieve something in his life,” a self-assured Mashrafe said while sitting in the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) headquarters.
The 27-year-old pace spearhead, who has resumed normal walking and cycling exercise, was not ready to give up the fight for the World Cup even though injuries have kept piling up to frustrate him to no end.
Mashrafe, thankfully, has retained a sense of perspective and insisted that he wants to continue to overcome all adversities and continue on with his cricket career. At one point, he was speaking so confidently that it was impossible to not be positive about his chances of playing in cricket’s mega event. “It’s very easy to say goodbye but I’m not ready to give up the fight.
“In my career on most of the occasions I had to fight with injuries with my back, ankle and of course the dreadful knee injuries. But every time, I have come back strongly. And there will be no exceptions this time,” he said, words from the man who has been living under the vice of injury since he made his international debut in 2001.
“Many people wrote off my career after the first two games against Zimbabwe. There was a lot of rumours which made me upset. Many even said the time has come for me to say goodbye. But I took little time to prove those men wrong. But it’s my bad luck that I got injured again just when I was recovering my rhythm. And just think of the timing! (with only two months go to the World Cup),” he added.
Mashrafe didn’t try to hide his emotions about the World Cup.
“It would be hypocrisy if I said that I have no emotions attached to the World Cup especially when it is going to be held in my home soil. I want to play in the World Cup and I am confident about my chance. I love to take a challenge and I am hopeful that I will be able to present myself for selection,” said Mashrafe, who will be able to bowl in four weeks time as per the physicians’ suggestion.
Mashrafe also has a lot of faith on Australian surgeon Dr David Young and according to him Young gave him the confidence about regaining the match fitness before the World Cup. He will also try to meet with Young when the Australian visits Sri Lanka in the middle of the next month.
“He gave his go-ahead already but still I want to meet him if it is possible when he comes to Sri Lanka. Actually it all depends on whether I am confident or not.
“And, yes I am,” finished Mashrafe.