Former Bangladesh captain, Mashrafe Mortaza’s international career, may have officially come to an end following bowling coach Otis Gibson’s statements. Gibson begrudgingly announced that he should opt for retirement as Bangladesh are looking for other options moving forward. But there was a time; the selector controversially omitted Mashrafe Mortaza for the 2011 World Cup.
It is without a doubt that Mortaza is the greatest captain in the history of Bangladesh cricket. Under him, the Tigers scored some of their most satisfying victories and emerged as a competitive side, if not a dangerous one. Hence, the decision to leave Mortaza for the 2011 World Cup contested in India, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh was a debatable one. Moreover, it was due to an act of incompetence by a physio.
During a live conversation on Facebook with Mahmudullah Riyad, Mushfiqur Rahim, and Tamim Iqbal, the 36-year old explained the same in detail. It started when their physio David Young received a report from David Young. Mashrafe claimed that the doctor didn’t see the entire mail, which stated that it was up to the pace bowler to play at his own risk. Hence, the physio saw the mere headline and submitted to the selectors, which, indicated that he wasn’t cleared to play.
“I had a conversation with Akram Bhai, when David Young sends the report to our physio Michael Henry, he didn’t saw the whole mail. He just saw the headline and submitted it to the selectors. When I called the doctor and asked him that had he told that I will not be able to play, as he told me if I want then I can play on my own risk, but I can play. He told me no, I’ve sent the whole report. Then I asked Henry and he said me check for yourself. Then I checked his mobile that he didn’t go for further option. Then said sorry to me.” Mortaza said as quoted by CricFrenzy.
Mashrafe Mortaza wept in front of the journalists hearing the news:
On hearing the news of squad announcement, the former skipper cried in front of the media at the Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. It stole his chance of playing a World Cup on his home turf.
However, he returned to lead the nation in the next two tournaments, including guiding Bangladesh to the quarter-finals in the 2015 edition. The veteran last played for the national team in March 2020 in an ODI against Zimbabwe, which was also his final match as captain. Tamim Iqbal succeeded him as the ODI skipper.