The decision from the most successful ODI skipper of the country came amid widespread discussions that the ongoing Zimbabwe ODIs would be his last as captain
Veteran pacer Mashrafe bin Mortaza has announced his decision to step down as Bangladesh ODI captain during a press conference in Sylhet Thursday.
The decision from the most successful ODI skipper of the country came amid widespread discussions that the ongoing Zimbabwe ODIs would be his last as captain.
Prior to the series, Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan had declared that the Zimbabwe ODIs would be Mashrafe’s last assignment as captain and that the board will look for a new leader in the next board meeting in March this year.
And so, the third and final ODI against Zimbabwe Friday at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium will see Mashrafe lead Bangladesh for one final time.
Mashrafe has informed that he would continue playing 50-over cricket, if selected purely as a player.
The day was just like another when Mashrafe arrived for the pre-match press conference at the media center at SICS accompanied by BCB media manager Rabeed Imam.
However, upon taking the chair, Mashrafe pulled out a paper and started speaking, seeking the attention of the assembled media in the room.
“I want to announce something. The game [Friday] will be my last as captain. I am thankful to cricket for counting on me for a long time and would also like to thank my team members and players who have played under me at different times. It was not a decision for me. It is a journey that started five to six years ago – under whom I played and whom I led. All of them have helped me closely,” said Mashrafe.
“It started with [Chandika] Hathurusingha as the coach. Before that I was not regular due to injuries. So it was with Hathurusingha that I started, followed by Khaled Mahmud, Steve Rhodes and finally, [Russell] Domingo. Selectors, board officials and all the staffs in the board – I would like to thank all of them.
“I would like to thank all of you [media] for your support and finally the supporters, this journey would not have been possible without you all. Thank you everyone,” said Mashrafe, who is now a Member of Parliament.
A win for @BCBtigers against @ZimCricketv in the last ODI of the three-match series will be the 50th victory for Mashrafe bin Mortaza as captain.https://t.co/FA4w8BALCd#BCBTIGERS #BCB #TIGERS #BANGLADESH #CRICKET #BANGLADESHCRICKET #ZIMBABWE #ZIMBABWECRICKET #ZC #MASHRAFE— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) March 4, 2020
He added, “I will try my best to contribute as a player if given the opportunity in future. All my wishes go out to the next captain and I believe he will take the team to a new height. I will try my level best to support him, but would expect that the concerned gives him the charge till the next World Cup, which is in year 2023.”
A win for Bangladesh against Zimbabwe Friday will be the 50th victory for Mashrafe as captain.
Mashrafe since 2010 has led Bangladesh in ODIs in two parts and is the most successful, having won 49 times in 87 matches.
In his first tenure in 2010, the right-arm pacer led Bangladesh to three wins in seven matches - against England in Bristol, Ireland and then against New Zealand at home.
Following around three years of gap, Mashrafe was again given charge to lead Bangladesh in ODIs in 2014 and since then, he has led his side to 46 wins in 80 games.