Mumbai: Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza's sudden hamstring injury paved way for Farhad Reza’s inclusion in the national squad for the Sri Lanka tour.
"I was preparing to go to bed after a day's game in Bangladesh and suddenly my mobile rang. It was a call from our chief selector (Minhajul Abedin Nannu), who informed me about my late inclusion in the squad", the 33-year-old Reza, speaking exclusively over telephone, said.
"Honestly, it was a surprise call but not that out of the blue as I was already in the standby list even for the World Cup". "It is indeed sad and I feel sorry for Mortaza bhai who has to miss the tour and my selection in this situation. He (Mashrafe Mortaza) is a great captain and inspirational to the boys", Reza added.
In fact, Reza, if included in the final eleven would play his 35th ODI after a gap of nearly eight years. "I have performed well at the domestic level and it will be a challenge for me to perform well in the series", Reza added.
In 2006, Reza had made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe at Harare. He was the first Bangladeshi to score a fifty - off just 57 balls - on his debut. Had he not risked and joined rebel ICL (Indian Cricket League), he would have played more for Bangladesh....