Country comes first

Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza said in the pre-match press conference that his team would have to be prepared for anything when they play the first ODI against Sri Lanka in Dambulla today.

However, he probably did not mean that he would have to expect the unexpected during the press conference itself.

While he was probably expecting questions about the series at hand, and that is what happened for most of the press conference, he was thrown one from out of left field when a neutral reporter asked if Mustafizur Rahman would be given a rest as he had been for the India Test, seeing as the Champions Trophy was coming up and before that, the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Halfway through the question Mashrafe realised what was happening and was taken aback momentarily, before recovering his poise and answering the question with a straight bat.

"Look, it is the physio, trainer and coach and everyone else who will discuss and decide whether he needs rest. But I think that if he has to sacrifice the IPL to play all the matches for Bangladesh, then obviously that is what he should do. Country comes first."

Mustafizur's rise has been celebrated by all and his IPL exploits for Sunrisers Hyderabad is a source of joy for the country as well as his fellow national teammates, who have congratulated him publicly after he contributed to Hyderabad's win last year. But it seemed that it was the implication in the question, the elevation of IPL to international cricket status, that Mashrafe was taken aback by.

source: Daily star