• Thursday, Dec 03, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:19 pm

Mashrafe set to play last ODI series as captain

  • Published at 05:04 pm February 19th, 2020
Mashrafe
Bangladesh's Mashrafe bin Mortaza bowls during training in Mirpur Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

There is however, no clarity yet on Mashrafe’s future in the Bangladesh ODI squad

The three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe in Sylhet next month will be the last for Mashrafe bin Mortaza as Bangladesh ODI captain. 

Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan informed that the board has come to this decision in order to set a path for the team leading into the World Cup 2023.

Nazmul had a meeting with three senior cricketers in the shape of Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mominul Haque at the BCB premises Wednesday and later emerged with the announcement.

“I have always said this that we do not have a replacement of Shakib [al Hasan] and that we also do not have a replacement of a captain like Mashrafe. Mashrafe’s case now is, we need to make a change. We need to consider Mashrafe’s contribution in turning points of Bangladesh cricket, it is unparallel. He was outstanding as captain but it is also true that now the time has come for him to decide how long he wants to play,” said Nazmul to the reporters at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka.

“There are a number of issues here. I think Mashrafe will play this series [against Zimbabwe] if he is fit. He will be captain against Zimbabwe. But for the World Cup [in three years’ time] we cannot bring a captain for that all of a sudden. We have to decide on the team and captain with at least two years in hand. We need to come to a decision as we do not have much time. We will hopefully come to a decision on this within a month or so. We will have to wait at least this series,” he added.

There is however, no clarity yet on Mashrafe’s future in the Bangladesh ODI squad.

The veteran right-arm pacer only plays 50-over cricket in the international arena, having retired from T20Is in 2017 and last played a Test in 2010. 

Rumors of Mashrafe’s retirement from ODIs started circling following below-par performances by both himself and the Bangladesh team in the World Cup 2019 in England and Wales. 

Though many in the cricket fraternity believed the time was right for the country to bid farewell to its most successful ODI captain, Mashrafe begged to differ and pressed on playing further.

According to Nazmul, naming a new captain will see Mashrafe’s selection in the Bangladesh ODI squad based purely on his fitness and performance.

“All the big players around the world plans, decides and informs when it’s time of their retirement. We did wish to have something arranged for him [Mashrafe] if he wanted. We wanted to make some kind of arrangement to send him off. But now he can continue playing if he wants to. I am at the moment more worried with captain. If we declare someone else as a captain now then if Mashrafe can get into the team with performance, than there is nothing wrong with that. But we need to decide our next captain within the coming month,” Nazmul clarified.

Mashrafee was named skipper for the second time in 2014 and coincidentally, it was against Zimbabwe, and since then, he led the Tigers in 78 matches, winning 44 of them. 

In his entire career as an inspirational leader, he captained in 85 ODIs, winning 47 times and losing on 36 occasions, while there was no result twice.

Bangladesh will take on Zimbabwe in three ODIs on March 1, 3 and 6 respectively following the lone Test match, set to start in Mirpur Saturday. 

All the three ODIs will be played at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.

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