Fans step up protests against Mortaza omission

DHAKA - Disgruntled fans in the home town of Bangladesh pace bowler Mashrafe Mortaza blockaded streets on Saturday in a fresh protest at the omission of the former captain from the country’s 15-man World Cup squad.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Sat 22 Jan 2011, 8:33 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 6:31 PM

The blockade followed a half-day general strike on Thursday and a two-kilometre-long human-chain protest at the district town of Narail, 300 kms (188 miles) southwest of Dhaka, on Friday.

Fans have been protesting since Wednesday after the Bangladesh Cricket Board chose not to include the 27-year-old Mortaza because of a knee injury he sustained during a domestic match last month.

“We will continue to protest so long Mortaza is kept out of the World Cup squad,” Sharif Humayun Kabir, a local community leader told a rally of some 1,000 fans who chanted: “Call back Mortaza.”

Many carried posters and placards that read, “Mortaza, Mortaza, we want Mortaza in the Wold Cup.”

Bangladesh, who are in Group B with England, India, Ireland, Netherlands, South Africa and West Indies, begin their campaign against co-hosts India in the tournament opener in Dhaka on Feb. 19.

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