The inevitable finally happened. Bangladesh ODI skipper Mashrafe bin Mortaza ended speculation about his future by saying the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales will be his last for Bangladesh. The stirring Tigers skipper announced this on Monday, in Bangladesh’s last official press conference before departing for the World Cup and Ireland Tour on May 1.
“It is not a matter of probability; for sure this is my last World Cup,” Bangladesh’s leading ODI wicket-taker told a packed media room at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday. However, the question still remains whether the World Cup will be the end of his international career or not. The possibility of Mashrafe continuing international cricket is low as he is also a Member of the Parliament from Narail 2 constituency.
Mashrafe enjoyed a fruitful World Cup career since his debut in 2001. With this World Cup he will be playing 4 World Cups from possible 5 during his 18 years long cricketing career. He missed the 2011 World Cup due to injury. He has had seven knee operations and only became a regular face in the national lineup since 2014 – when he started his second stint of captaincy.
Since his consistent presence from 2014 Bangladesh has been the force to be reckoned with. Under his inspirational leadership, Tigers earned a maiden World Cup quarterfinal spot in 2015 and also a maiden Champions Trophy semifinal in 2017 with home ODI series wins over India, South Africa, Pakistan and West Indies.
When asked whether, he would do anything special in his last World Cup. Mashrafe’s answer to that was plain and simple. “There is no reason for that to make me take any extra preparations,” said Narail Express. “I will try to perform as a player and as a captain. That is important”, he added. Mashrafe was also optimistic about his veteran crop of players in the World Cup. He said experience will guide Bangladesh to positive results in the World Cup and also believes the blend of youth and experience in Tigers roster makes his team balanced.