We're Live Bangla Sunday, April 02, 2023



Former captain Mashrafe Mortaza and two other Bangladesh cricketers, Nazmul Islam and Nafees Iqbal have tested positive for the dreaded coronavirus. The 36-year-old Mortaza was reportedly unwell for the last couple of days and tested positive for the contagious disease on Saturday. He is currently in self-isolation at his residence.

Mortaza, who plays only ODIs and had stepped down from captaincy earlier this year, is the second high-profile cricketer to get infected by the disease. Last week, former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi had tested positive for COVID-19.

"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.

"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."

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.

The 28-year-old left-arm spinner Islam, 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 same newspaper also reported that former Bangladesh cricketer Nafees Iqbal, who is the elder brother of ODI captain Tamim Iqbal, has tested positive for coronavirus.

Nafees himself 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 and over 1400 died so far in Bangladesh due to the disease.