Mashrafe Mortaza, 2 other Bangladesh cricketers test COVID positive

Mortaza, who is also an MP, was quite active with his philanthropic activities amid the pandemic

For the last few days, 36-year-old Mortaza was reportedly unwell. He tested positive for the contagious disease on Saturday (June 20). Photo: PTI (file)

A few days after Pakistan cricketers Shahid Afridi and Taufeeq Umar tested positive for COVID-19, three Bangladesh players, including former captain Mashrafe Mortaza have contracted the virus.

For the last few days, 36-year-old Mortaza was reportedly unwell. He tested positive for the contagious disease on Saturday (June 20) and is currently in self-isolation at his residence.

“Today my Covid-19 results came as positive. Everyone, please pray for my quick recovery,” Mortaza, who has played 36 Tests, 220 ODIs and 54 T20Is for Bangladesh, wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday evening.

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“The number of infected has now crossed one lakh. We all have to become more careful. Let’s all stay at home, and not get out unless it is necessary. I am abiding by the protocol at home. Rather than panic, we need to raise awareness about corona,” he said.

Mortaza, who is also a member of Bangladesh Parliament, was quite active with his philanthropic activities amid the pandemic, lending a helping hand to the people in his hometown and constituency Narail. Earlier this year, he had stepped down from the captaincy and has been playing only ODIs.

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Nazmul Islam, the 28-year-old left-arm spinner, who was involved in distributing food and other supplies in his hometown Narayanganj — one of the worst-hit areas in Bangladesh — also tested positive for COVID-19, according to Daily Star newspaper.

The newspaper also reported that former Bangladesh cricketer Nafees Iqbal, who is the elder brother of ODI captain Tamim Iqbal, had tested positive for coronavirus. Nafees himself had confirmed that he has contracted the deadly virus and is currently in home isolation in Chittagong, according to the report.

Iqbal, a right-handed opening batsman, made his debut for Bangladesh in 2003 but has been out of the national reckoning since 2006. The 34-year-old played 11 Tests and 16 ODIs for Bangladesh, scoring 518 and 309 runs respectively.

Last month, Bangladesh’s development coach and former first-class cricketer Ashiqur Rahman had tested positive for the dreaded virus.

More than 100,000 people have been infected by the virus in the country and over 1,400 people have died so far due to the disease.

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