angladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Mortaza, who is returning to lead the side during the 3-ODI series starting from Sunday, has not taken kindly to a reporter’s question about his self-respect being hurt due to poor form.

Mortaza has not played for Bangladesh since having a poor outing at the 2019 World Cup where he only picked a single wicket in 8 matches. Since then questions have been raised about his ability to lead the team in the 50-overs format and things came to a tipping point when Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hasan recently announced that the Zimbabwe series will be Mortaza’s last assignment as captain.

At a customary press conference when a reporter asked Mortaza if his form in the World Cup with the ball has made him feel ashamed. Mortaza was shocked at the query.

“Self respect and to be ashamed of? Do I steal on the ground? Am I a thief? I actually can not relate things like ‘self-respect’ or ‘being ashamed’ with playing cricket. There are people who steal and cheat; aren’t they ashamed of what they are doing? Only I have to feel ashamed if I do not get wickets in a game? Am I a thief?,” said Mashrafe in Sylhet on Saturday.

“I might not get wickets and then all of your personnel and also my fans can criticize and talk about it. But why would I have to be ashamed of it? Am I not playing for Bangladesh? Or am I playing for any other country that I must be ashamed of my performance? If I can not perform then they can drop me — it is that simple,” concluded Mashrafe.

Earlier, Nazmul Hasan had made it clear that the Board was already scouting for a new ODI captain to replace the 36-year-old Mashrafe.

“We have started to stress on beep tests so Mashrafe may not pass the beep tests, so we can drop him if he doesn’t pass it. We also have to keep it in mind that Mashrafe’s leadership was vital in the turnaround in Bangladesh cricket. But, the time has come for him to decide how long he wants to play. I think Mashrafe will play the ODI series against Zimbabwe, pending fitness. We will be lenient about his fitness. But very soon, we have to decide on the team and captain for the next World Cup. We don’t have much time. We will take our decision after this ODI series,” Hasan had said earlier this month.

News Source: India Today.


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