Injury worries for Tigers
At the end of a rather disappointing Asia Cup for Bangladesh, the focus of the hosts has now shifted on their World Cup campaign, which at the moment seems to be dominated by injury concerns. Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shohag Gazi are all being regularly attended to by team physio Vibhav Singh for various reasons.
Of all the players, it's Mashrafe's side-strain -- which forced him out of the Asia Cup -- that seems to be the most concerning for the Tigers. Going by the books, a side-strain, which the bowler sustained at the end of February -- generally takes up to a month to recover, but with the first crucial game -- against Afghanistan -- of the ICC World T20 just a week away, the BCB is working on expediting his recovery process. The bowler is expected to go through a fitness test by the end of this week, to re-confirm his place in the T20 squad.
"We gave Mashrafe a cortisone injection in the region of the body where the side-strain took place and that has reduced the pain quite a bit. We can judge his situation a lot better after he goes through a fitness test at the end of this week," Vibhav told The Daily Star yesterday.
Mashrafe's race against time essentially means that the bowler may not be available for Bangladesh's warm-up games against the UAE and Ireland.
Off-spinner Shohag Gazi, who hurt his hand during the game against Afghanistan, however, seems to be progressing well. According to the physio, the player got his stitches removed from his hand yesterday.
"Physically Shohag seems to be fine. There is not any pain in that area. However, since it was an impact injury, he might feel a little less confident while catching the ball. He will need to work on that," said Vibhav.
With regards to captain Mushfiqur, the team's working with the batsman with an aim to make him fit enough to keep ahead of the ICC World Twenty20. It will be a tricky decision for Mushfiqur, who hurt his shoulder and is carrying a fracture in his finger.
While a 15-member squad was already declared last month, changes can take place if a player is deemed injured. Chief selector Faruque Ahmed, however, will wait till the last minute before taking any step.
"The rules state that changes can be made in case of any injury. I can't comment on any possible changes as of now, because we are waiting on the likes of Mashrafe and Shohag to take their fitness tests to know their situations better," Faruque told The Daily Star.
Meanwhile, as a part of their preparation camp, a BCB XI will play a T20 game against Zimbabwe, who arrived here on Friday, at Fatullah today. BCB XI have five players from the current national squad, including Nasir Hossain, Shamsur Rahman and Sabbir Rahman. Slow left-armer Arafat Sunny, who had a good run in the Asia Cup, will also be playing in the match.