“Nothing serious… it can happen, especially in a crucial moment of a match.” That was the immediate first reaction from Bangladesh ODI skipper and Rangpur Riders captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza during the post-match briefing when his attention was drawn to the incident involving Subhasish Roy and himself at a decisive point of yesterday’s afternoon Bangladesh Premier League match at the Sylhet International Stadium.
“I think I should say sorry to him [Subasish]. I believe that it’s a part of cricket. This kind of incident can happen. He was right from his perspective. He wanted to win and I also wanted to win. I don’t know what would have been best for him but he is younger than me, so I could have kept calm.”
Chittagong Vikings won the match by 11 runs against the Riders but in the end it was the incident that was most discussed as everyone was curious to know how it was possible for a junior cricketer like Subhasish to react in such a way against a player like Mashrafe, who is universally loved and respected in the Bangladesh cricket fraternity. Also, whether there was any reason for Subhasish to react in the way that he did was a point of speculation after the match. The incident also got enough attention in the social media, where expectedly Subhasish was vilified for the incident.
Subhasish was brought into the attack in the 17th over with Rangpur needing 43 off 24. It all started with a yorker on middle stump in the fourth ball, which Mashrafe dug out to the bowler, who shaped to throw at the stumps. Mashrafe gestured to the bowler to get back and apparently seemed to say something. Subhasish charged at Mashrafe and came face to face and the Chittagong fielders, especially Sikandar Raza, raced in to try and pull the men away from each other and calm things down.
Mashrafe however tried to soothe the atmosphere during the press conference, and later in the night posted a Facebook video message urging and imploring fans not to vilify Subhasish, saying that Mashrafe was the one who started it and that things should not be taken too far against a fellow Bangladesh cricketer whom he considered a ‘younger brother’.
The gloom however faded in the press conference once his attention was drawn to the date of November 8 — the day 16 years ago when Mashrafe made his international debut against Zimbabwe in a Test in Dhaka.
“16 years… it’s tough to tell the whole story but there has been much joy as well as pain and hard work. To last 16 years I had to go through difficult times. Still, I am happy as I continue to play. I thank those who prayed for me. Honestly speaking, I was not aware of the fact till this morning that I was going to complete 16 years in cricket. I later saw it on social media. Feeling good, now let’s see how far I can go from here,” said the 34-year old Mashrafe.