Mashrafe Mortaza’s tale since the completion of the 2019 World Cup has been a topsy-turvy one. Fingers were pointed at the pacer after he managed to pick only one wicket in the World Cup. His retirement rumours started doing rounds after Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo said that he’s backing young guns for the future, hinting that Mortaza’s role in the side is almost over.
Mortaza stepped down from captaincy in February during Bangladesh’s last home series against Zimbabwe. However, he did not disclose the reason behind it. Mortaza has been a vital cog of the national side since the past five years and he himself admitted recently that he was hurt after Bangladesh team management shoved him away from the national side.
Amid all the retirement speculations, Bangladesh ODI skipper Tamim Iqbal backed Mortaza to have a role in his playing XI. Tamim said that he has to earn respect from selectors so that he can put out his preferences and choices in front of them. Talking about Mortaza, he termed the pacer as a ‘legend’ and said that he is irreplaceable from the national side.
I have to earn that respect from selectors: Tamim Iqbal
While donning the Bangladesh jersey in all formats, Mortaza has scalped 78, 270, and 42 wickets in 36 Tests, 220 ODIs and 52 T20Is respectively. His last expedition for the national side was against Zimbabwe in March where he scalped a wicket while conceding 47 runs.
“Let me say one thing as I’m a new captain, so for me, if I say on the first day of the first selection meeting that I want this, I want that, I want him. I have to earn that respect from selectors, from the board. I have to earn that respect, how can I earn that, I can earn that through my performance,” Tamim told Cricfrenzy.
“Mashrafe Bhai is a legend. I don’t think there is anyone in the Bangladesh team who would not take him. But of course, there is a lot to consider. We will see when the right time will come. But he is a legend and there is no one who will not take him,” he added.
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