Mashrafe steps down as Bangladesh captain

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Sports desk, Mar 05: Ahead of the third and final ODI of three-match series against Zimbabwe, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza announced his end as the captain of Bangladesh ODI team on Thursday at Sylhet International Stadium.The 36-year-old pacer said the last ODI of the series will be his last as the captain of Bangladesh.

He, however, told the media that he will continue to playing for the Tigers if the selectors give him chance in the ODI team in future.

“The last match of the series (will be played on Friday) is my last ODI as Bangladesh’s captain. I will not be Bangladesh’s captain any longer. However, I will continue playing for Bangladesh,” Mashrafe told the media.

Mashrafe took over the captaincy for the second time back in 2014. Since then, he led the Tigers in 87 ODIs with winning 49 matches till the date. He is the only Bangladeshi captain who led Bangladesh in two 50-over World Cup. Along with ODI captaincy, Mashrafe led the Tigers in one Test and 28 T20Is as well. In total, he led Bangladesh in 116 international games and won 60 of them.

Mashrafe captained Bangladesh for the first time in a Test against West Indies back in 2009 at Kingstown. He, however, couldn’t finish that game due to an injury. Shakib Al Hasan led the Tigers in the remaining parts of that game.

In his first stint as the captain, Mashrafe led Bangladesh in 18 international games starting from July 2009 to October 2010. He got the captaincy back for the second and final stint in 2014. But this time only for limited-over cricket. Mashrafe announced his retirement from T20Is in 2017, and Shakib became the new T20Is captain. Eventually, Mashrafe was Bangladesh’s captain only in ODIs.

There were many talks about Mashrafe’s retirement at the start of the ongoing series against Zimbabwe. But the right-arm pacer never revealed his future plan.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) also manifested that they are not expecting Mashrafe as Bangladesh’s captain anymore aiming to hand over the rule to a new one who can lead the Tigers till the next World Cup.

Now the ball is in BCB’s court. They will decide who will lead the Tigers in ODIs now. There are some names as the future captain. Mahmudullah Riyad and Mushfiqur Rahim are among them, as a close source from BCB told UNB preferring anonymity.

“It was a good move that Mashrafe cleared the air deciding his future. He has done a lot for Bangladesh cricket. Now, the time has come for a new one who can guide the Tigers to the future. BCB already started to ponder about the new captain. Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur are among the few names,” the source told UNB.