Friday, January 21, 2011

Bangladesh Cricket Squad for CWC 2011 without Mashrafe raises controversy

Bangladesh embracing ICC Cricket world cup for the first time on its own soil this year! The country will celebrate will celebrate the occasion with red and green flags! 17 crore people of country will salute the Proud Cricket Team in their each win. The pleasure of win on native country has comparison. So, every cricketer of organising three countries has a special attention for the upcoming World Cup Tournament scheduled to be celebrated during February 19 to April 2, 2011.

Everybody was waiting for the explosion that never burst. Hundreds of Journalists were present at the press conference at Mirpur were expecting a last moment drama, but all the fuss kicked the bucket once chief selector Rafiqul Alam announced the 15-member squad on January 19, 2011.

Almost everyone preferred silence because the Rafiqul-led three-member selection committee stuck to their squad without injured paceman Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, despite the pressure they had been facing from Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) technical committee, which ignited a lot of controversy over the team selection for the last couple of days.

The question was not only about whether injured paceman Mashrafe would be included in the team or not, but also about who between Mohammad Ashraful and Alok Kapali would be included. There was also a question about the inclusion of middle-order batsman Rokibul Hasan.

With these circumstances, everybody's focus was on the selection committee because the question was whether they could show their guts or whether they were going to swallow the bitter pill.

In the end Rafiqul came up with flying colours even though he looked nervous during the press conference as he announced a team made up of players who were part of the squad for the last two years, with no surprise inclusions.

When Rafiqul faced a volley of questions, BCB president AHM Mustafa Kamal was beside him. Kamal surprisingly started to walk soon after the announcement of the team but after a hue and cry the BCB boss came back with the selectors to take questions from the media.

"Yes, it's our team. We discussed with everyone but ultimately we [the selection committee] took the final decision and it's nothing new," Rafiqul responded when he was asked whether this team is what they actually selected.

"It was my team, I talked with the selectors and we discussed long and hard. There were lots of arguments and fights. Yes, the chief [Rafiqul Alam] fought for the team. I'm happy with the team," said a delighted Siddons.

Chief selector Rafiqul, captain Shakib and coach Siddons echoed the sentiment that the World Cup is not over for pace spearhead Mashrafe.

Rafiqul also went on to explain why they had left out Mashrafe despite there being a precedent of including injured players, as seen in the selections of teams like India and Australia.

The former national cricketer also defended the inclusion of Mohammad Ashraful and left-arm spinner Sohrawordi Shuvo and explained why they didn't consider Alok Kapali in the team. Rafiqul rated this team highly as he said that there were eight batsmen who averaged over 30 in the line-up.

Rafiqul also said that they had the plan to design the team with three pacers and they mainly focused on the spin attack considering the conditions.

"We generally play with two pacers in this kind of condition, so there is no point to take one more pacer in the team," said Rafiqul.

"We picked three left-arm spinners against teams which are weak against the outgoing ball and have more right-handers," added Siddons.

As expected, Bangladesh have loaded their squad with spinners - Shakib, Abdur Razzak, Mahmudullah, Naeem Islam and Suhrawadi Shuvo all providing slow-bowling options along with the leg-spin of batsman Mohammad Ashraful.

However, a day-long strike was observed to press hone demand for inclusion of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in his own District Narail in Bangladesh on January 20, 2010. It is first time in the history of cricket that beloved people of a cricketer have observed strike for him.  

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