Not too many players get the chance to win more than one tournament in a single domestic season but veteran Bangladesh cricketer Mashrafee bin Murtaza on Thursday achieved his fourth title this season.
Mashrafee, who was playing his maiden Bangladesh Cricket League match for Prime Bank South Zone in the final round in Khulna, won the title after his side registered an innings and 63 runs victory over BCB North Zone within three days.
This is his fourth straight domestic tournament triumph after winning Dhaka Premier League with Abahani Limited, National Cricket League with Khulna Division and Bangladesh Premier League with Rangpur Riders in 2017-18 seasons.
‘It really feels good. I am very lucky to win all these titles,’ said Mashrafee. ‘I played a small part in NCL and BCL. But thanks to my team-mates that I won both the titles.’
The achievement is considered to be an astonishing feat for Mashrafee who played only four first-class matches till 2017 after sustaining an injury in 2009 in West Indies.
Mashrafee, who successfully led Bangladesh to World Cup quarter-finals in 2015 and ICC Champions Trophy semi-final in 2017, had his unique domestic season started with National Cricket League for Khulna in September.
Mashrafee played just two matches Khulna, picking up only five wickets but his mere presence in the team was enough to inspire Khulna secure a win and a draw in the matches on their way to title.
The veteran led Rangpur in the fifth edition of BPL, inspiring the side to lift their maiden title in the cash rich Twenty20 tournament – his fourth title in BPL with three different franchises.
Rangpur was struggling to qualify for the play-offs at one stage of the tournament, but Mashrafee put up some extra-ordinary performances to assure not the play-offs only but also the championship glory.
Mashrafee bowled maximum overs [55 overs] in the tournament with an economy of 6.74 and also picked up 15 wickets in 14 matches in the tournament to finish seventh among the highest wicket-takers.
He provided some great contributions with bat also as he scored 131 runs in nine innings at a strike rate of 152.32 and his side was able to defeat favourites Dhaka Dynamites in the final of the tournament.
Unlike BPL, Mashrafee didn’t take over the captaincy job at DPL while playing for Abahani Limited but his performance never went down for a single match in the tournament.
Mashrafee finished as the highest wicket-taker in the DPL breaking all the previous records as he bagged 39 wickets at an average of 14.61 to surpass Abu Hider’s [35 wickets] previous record set last year.
He also joined one of the eight bowlers in the cricket history to pick four wickets in four successive balls in a match against Agrani Bank Cricket Club on March 6.
Mashrafee said among his four titles, BPL and DPL were the toughest.
‘In BPL, we were always behind. In Dhaka league, we also had to wait until the last match,’ he said.
Apart from Mashrafee, batsman Mohammad Mithun also won four domestic titles this season as he was part of Khulna, Rangpur Riders, Abahani and Prime Bank South Zone teams.