Mashrafe Mortaza: Peoples captain whom a nation loves

first_imgBy Kushan Sarkar Mirpur, Mar 3 (PTI) Call it a compulsion, but sporting achievements are often measured by numbers in hand and that is precisely why it will be difficult to analyse Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortazas influence and contribution in the countrys ever-growing cricketing ambitions. Because numbers alone like 78 Test, 204 ODI and 35 T20 International wickets cannot explain why the strapping 32- year-old pacer is the countrys most iconic cricketer despite not being in the league of a global star like Shakib Al Hasan or the new sensation Mustafizur Rahaman. Because Mashrafe is Bangladeshs own boy — a peoples man, who can effortlessly carry the burden of expectations of millions of cricket crazy fans here. Perhaps the only national cricket captain, who would dump his luxury sedan and travel to training on a cycle rickshaw with his gigantic cricket coffin. Someone who is ready for a good scrap despite his cricketing limitations and injuries, that has dogged his career throughout. He is a man, who is ready to gracefully accept challenge of a local journalist who can tell him on his face that “your team will not win a single match in Asia Cup T20”. But Mashrafe politely told him, “I accept the challenge and will not say a word till we reach the final.” After winning a thriller, the same scribe with a huge grin asked him the same question about how a big a challenge it was and Mashrafe smiled and replied: “But you only said that we wont win a single match.” The local media had their apprehensions about the teams chances in Asia Cup and most of them had booked flights on March 5 to either Kolkata or Delhi from where they would fly to Dharamsala for the World T20 qualifiers. One scribe asked Mashrafe, “I dont know what to do as I have flight tickets booked for Dharamsala on March 5.” Mashrafe smiled and said: “Go to Dharamsala. What will you do watching the final?” There was no arrogance or sarcasm in his voice when he said this but an air normalcy which ensured that nobody was offended. Thats the reason one is not surprised when he terms the two boundaries he hit off Mohammed Amirs bowling as “lucky shots”. “I was a bit lucky that I connected both. You can say in my T20 international career, the two most important boundaries that I have struck,” his smile was almost apologetic. MORE PTI KHS PM PMadvertisementlast_img read more

Mohun Bagan say wont submit ISL bid document

first_imgKolkata, May 24 (PTI) Mohun Bagan today said that they would not submit the bid document unless their three demands are met in order to be inducted into the Indian Super League. The last years I-League champions collected the Invitation To Bid document on the last day and tomorrow is the deadline to submit it. “The Indian constitution has been amended many times after its formation, and similarly here, the dates for a private organisation can also be changed,” Mohun Bagan general secretary Anjan Mitra said, taking a dig at Football Sports Development Limited, a subsidiary of IMG-Reliance that runs the ISL. “We did not want to give any scope to IMG-R who cannot deny that we have not bought the documents. The date of submission of the bid documents is not a factor to us,” Mitra said after their executive committee meeting. East Bengal are expected to follow suit as the Maidan heavyweights were bolstered by the backing of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “We are extremely grateful to the chief minister. We have already sent her a letter to show our gratitude,” Mitra said as Mamata had asked them to not bow down under pressure. The two clubs main demand is the waiver of franchise fee of Rs 15 crore. “Apart from this we also need the money of the central pool and would like to play the tournament in Kolkata. These three demands have been brought up in our executive meeting today and has been agreed by all the officials of the club.” Throwing an open challenge to the ISL organisers, finance secretary Debasish Dutta said: “The revolt has already started and would spread all over Bengal. We would like to see how well the tournament progresses if the two most popular teams of the state, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, are not allowed to participate.” PTI TAP AH AHadvertisementlast_img read more