The Mashrafe Mortaza Retirement Speculation Circus has rolled into its 13th month. The end of his side Dhaka Platoon’s BPL campaign on Monday became the latest occasion on which to pitch the uncomfortably large tent. The press conference, which at times veered into terse and tense exchanges, ended with Mashrafe clearly stating that he has “no interest” in receiving a prepared send-off from the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
In the Circus terms, Monday’s press conference was better than his Friday proclamation where he questioned his own selection in the ODI side based on his 2019 World Cup performance. It was certainly edgier, as he shot back at every question that either contained the word “retirement” or hinted at it. “Till yesterday, I was a centrally contracted cricketer with the cricket board but not anymore,” Mashrafe said.
“I always believe the BCB is the cricketers’ guardian. I never took pride in going against them. I thank the BCB for considering me to give me a proper send-off, but I don't have much interest in it.
“I have always said that a cricketer’s entire career isn't only about playing for the national team. I think I have the freedom to play as long as I want. I think we have had bigger cricketers who couldn't retire from the field. Habibul Bashar, who always made runs in crisis situation, didn't get to retire while still playing. I think only Sujon bhai [Khaled Mahmud] did it, but otherwise it is a rare case. I even have thought of it at times, but it is not really necessary.”