Since the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales in June-July last year, Mashrafe has been away from national duty as the Tigers did not have any 50-over game in their roster
Tigers ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza will once again be in the limelight when Bangladesh host Zimbabwe for three ODIs, two T20Is and a solitary Test match in February-March this year.
Since the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales in June-July last year, Mashrafe has been away from national duty as the Tigers did not have any 50-over game in their roster.
The ODI series against Zimbabwe however, has once again raised the same old question – is this series a good opportunity for right-arm pacer Mashrafe to bring the curtains down on his illustrious career?
Following the Zimbabwe ODIs, the Tigers are scheduled to tour Ireland this May for three ODIs and take on Sri Lanka at home in three more ODIs in December.
Whether Mashrafe will lead the Tigers in all nine ODIs this year remains to be seen.
Whispers about Mashrafe’s retirement started doing the rounds after he joined politics and eventually got elected as a Member of the Parliament.
Right after the general election in 2018, vibes were strong during the home series against the West Indies in December that the charismatic Bangladesh skipper would call it a day.
But the Narail cricketer decided to delay the occasion as he expressed desire to represent the country in the world event for one last time.
The World Cup though did not go as per expectations.
The Tigers struggled in the competition with the exception of a few good performances here and there, and Mashrafe’s displays as a bowler also came into question.
Under the circumstances, it was being widely discussed in the Bangladesh cricket fraternity that the 36-year old would call it a day following their last game in the tournament against Pakistan at Lord’s.
However, Mashrafe had a change of heart after intervention by Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan.
Mashrafe bin Mortaza gave an interview to @DhakaTribune where he spoke about his days as Tigers captain, his injuries and comebacks, and the ups and downs he has encountered during his journey as the greatest leader of @BCBtigers.https://t.co/cGHfdnyReg#MASH #BCB #DT #TIGERS— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) October 23, 2017
All these developments only added to the BCB’s indecision of offering the veteran cricketer a new central contract.
During this time, cricket’s governing body in the country was mulling organizing a farewell for Mashrafe.
BCB director and chairman of the media and communications committee Jalal Younus though said the board doesn’t have any concrete plans on Mashrafe’s farewell as of yet.
However, Dhaka Tribune understands that a final call will be made anytime but only after consent from Mashrafe.
“We cannot decide anything about Mashrafe’s retirement. He should take his own decision, and he deserves a big farewell from us,” informed Jalal to the media.
Zimbabwe are scheduled to arrive in the last week of February for the month-long tour.
As per the Future Tours Program, Bangladesh were initially slated to host Zimbabwe for one Test and five T20Is.