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Ash and co off to Bangalore
4 June, 2007
Five Bangladeshi cricketers including new captain Mohammad Ashraful and his deputy Mashrafe Bin Mortaza left Dhaka for Bangalore on Monday with hopes to play in the second Afro-Asia Cup in India.
The best cricketers of Asia and Africa meet in a Twenty20 match and three one-day internationals in south Indian cities Bangalore and Chennai.
The Twenty20 match will be played on Tuesday and the first ODI on Wednesday in Bangalore before the parties move to Chennai for the rest of the games.
"We want to play in the competition. Our main objective is to justify the inclusion of a number of Bangladeshi players for the prestigious tournament," Ashraful told reporters at the Zia International Airport.
Pace spearhead Mashrafe also echoed with his skipper's sentiment, saying that they have to prove that they are competent to represent the Asia XI in the competition.
"We should prove our worth. If I get the chance then I will definitely try to give my best because we are going to represent our country," said the braveheart cricketer.
"I don't think there is any scope to be excited with the vice-captain's role because to me, performance is more important than anything," said the 'Narail Express'.
Dashing left-handed opener Tamim Iqbal, however, was too excited as the young man thought that it is so far the best achievement in his short international career.
"I got the call only after one impressive performance in the World Cup. I was really surprised by the call-up and that's why I am so excited," he said.
Four players -- Ashraful, Mashrafe, Tamim and left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak -- are in the Twenty20 side while Mashrafe and Rafique are in the one-day side.
Mashrafe replaced Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar in the one-day squad, which will be led by Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene. The Twenty20 side will be led by Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik.