Saturday, February 7, 2009


Mashrafe Mortaza, the new Knight Rider to join Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's team, is elated at being part of the IPL bandwagon.Mortaza turned out to be the only player Kolkata Knight Riders purchased during Friday's auction. Kolkata forked out a staggering $600,000 after an intense bidding battle with Kings XI Punjab. Mortaza's base value was set at $50,000, which meant a 12-time increase."I feel it's a good opportunity for me to go and perform there from the first match," the Bangladeshi bowling all-rounder told CNN-IBN."I surely didn't imagine I would get that much money (at the auction), but I feel very good," he said. "I just hope I go there and perform and show them that I'm capable of doing that."Mortaza would be bouyed by the fact that he will be turning out for Kolkata, which is neighbouring Bangladesh. He was also ecstatic about sharing the dressing-room with icon player and former India captain Sourav Ganguly and other stars from world cricket. Also a certain Shah Rukh Khan.

"Shah Rukh Khan, Sourav Ganguly is also there," he said. "John Buchanan is also there, one of the best coaches (in the world). Everything about the side is good."Mortaza said he keenly followed Kolkata's progress at last year's IPL, and pointed out that the loss of international players in the middle of the tournament cost them a lot of games despite a blazing start."Kolkata has a very good side," he said. "I saw their matches last year as well. They lost some of their key players in the middle of the tournament. But they are a very strong side."The Bangladeshi international, who has been in stellar form of late, said he would much rather enjoy his month-and-a-half-long IPL stint and not worry about pressure."Hopefully when I go to join them I can learn something from them," he said. "I have been playing for Bangladesh for the past eight years where I've learnt how to play under pressure. So I'm going to enjoy it (the IPL) and not going to take any pressure."

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