Former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has opened up on the unfair treatment dished out on him by the country’s cricket board regarding his place in the national team. Mashrafe Mortaza last played for Bangladesh in 2020 against Zimbabwe and was not considered for the home series against the West Indies last year. That was also the final match the seamer served as captain.
Mashrafe Mortaza is undoubtedly one of the best Bangladesh captains and the most-capped for the nation in ODIs and T20Is. The 37-year old has led the side in 88 ODI games and 28 T20Is. He stepped down as captain after the home series against Zimbabwe, paving the way for Tamim Iqbal to take over. So far, Mortaza has featured in 36 Tests, 220 ODIs, and 54 T20Is.
Mashrafe Mortaza conceded that he deserved better after serving the nation for two decades as only Bangladesh Cricket Board President Nazmul Hasan asked if he thought about retirement before the Zimbabwe series. On the contrary, the veteran cricketer did not want to quit the sport as he was the highest wicket-taker in the last three series. The 37-year old pointed out that after COVID-19, he gained fitness, taking five wickets in the Bangabandhu T20 Cup, despite which the selectors did not consider him. Mashrafe wanted that the selectors or the senior players could’ve planned a retirement series for him.
“It’s unfortunate. At least I deserved better after serving the nation for 20 years. Only Papon Bhai (Nazmul Hassan) asked me what I thought about it (retirement) before the Zimbabwe series. In fact, I did not want to retire with the memory of the World Cup. I was the highest wicket-taker in the previous three series. After the Covid-19, I gained fitness and took five wickets and bowled well. But no one told me officially that they were not considering me. They could’ve told me, ‘look, we are not considering you for the World Cup, play the West Indies series and retire’. The senior players of the team could’ve suggested so,” Mortaza told Cricbuzz.
Mashrafe Mortaza opens up further on the issue:
Mashrafe Mortaza continued saying that the concerned officials handed him the proposal to retire after the Zimbabwe series. He credited Nazmul Hasan for giving him respect, as Mortaza told him he would decide after playing the BPL. The 37-year old anticipated that another proposal would come his way for a farewell series; however, it never did.
“Yes, I was given that proposal to retire in the Zimbabwe series, but it was after they made the plan, and it came in the media. Still, Papon Bhai gave me due respect, and I told him that I would play the BPL and let him know about my decision. He agreed. So there was an agreement, and I expected to get another proposal, but it never came to me,” he added.