Mashrafe focused on series, not on election

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza

Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on Tuesday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

“I am totally focused on cricket at the moment. I am concentrating on practice and fully focusing on the upcoming ODI series against West Indies. After finishing the series, I will concentrate on the election,” said Mashrafe

Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza said he is currently only focusing on the forthcoming series against West Indies and he will concentrate on his election duties after the series.

Mashrafe, the inspirational captain of the Tigers will contest in his home constituency as the candidate of the ruling party on the national election that is scheduled on December 30 but he will also lead Bangladesh from the three-match ODI series against visiting West Indies side.

Bangladesh will play the first two matches of the series in Dhaka on 9th and 11th December respectively before playing the last one at Sylhet on 14th December but questions were raised whether the focus of their skipper will be bifurcated between his cricketing and political responsibilities.

“I am totally focused on cricket at the moment. I am concentrating on practice and fully focusing on the upcoming ODI series against West Indies. After finishing the series, I will concentrate on the election,” said Mashrafe to journalists at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Tuesday.

Mashrafe, the most charismatic leader Bangladesh has ever produced, won 39 ODIs as captain, – the most in terms of number and success rate – but his legacy has flourished beyond the game due to his perseverance amid innumerable injuries and surgeries.

His legacy started to grow back in late 2014 when he took the captaincy of the struggling outfit and lead them to a series win against Zimbabwe.

But his esteem as a captain went to a great height a few months later as he took Tigers to their first ever quarter-final during the World Cup in 2015 at Australia-New Zealand.

And that level of success continued as Bangladesh – who were termed as perennial minnows – turned into a force to be reckoned with as they went on to beat cricketing powerhouses like Pakistan, India and South Africa at home later that year.

Since then Bangladesh have not only ascended in the ODI rankings but have finally become a formidable force at him and many credit this transformation to the Midas touch of the skipper.

So, the next World Cup, which will be held in June 2019 at England, will complete the circle of Mashrafe. But 35-year old said he will take his decision of continuation in international arena after the tournament.

“At first, I will target to continue playing until World Cup. I will try to continue playing until the World Cup just the way I have played throughout my career. That’s my target. After World Cup, should I review my decision about continuing to play or not? Time will tell,” said Masharafe when asked whether he will continue playing if elected as a member of parliament.

Mashrafe also discussed about forthcoming series as he thought despite a clean-sweep in the Test, Bangladesh will face tough resistance from Windies as the visitors get more dangerous in the shorter formats.

“West Indies are a better team in shorter formats. Obviously I am expecting a tough series. Players are in good condition and have confidence after winning the Test series. If we can use that confidence in the ODI series, then it would be better for us,” said the captain

Source: Dhaka Tribune.

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