Mashrafe Mortaza, the former Bangladesh captain, named MS Dhoni, Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly as the three captains he liked. But among the three stalwarts, he reckons that Ganguly was different and hence, named him as his most favourite skipper. Ganguly took over at a time when Indian cricket was gasping for breath owing to the match-fixing scandals.
Then he guided India to a 2-1 series win against Australia followed by a finals berth in the 2003 World Cup. Mashrafe, who stepped down as the Tigers’ skipper back in March, also backed Ponting, saying that he had to manage some big players, a task which wasn’t supposed to be easy.
From Bangladesh, the Narail Express didn’t have any hesitation in picking Habibul Bashar. The veteran has heard about Pakistan’s Imran Khan, but since he didn’t get to see the all-rounder personally, he didn’t pick him.
Would be placing Ganguly ahead of Dhoni and Ponting, says Mashrafe Mortaza
“As a captain, I never followed anyone. Sumon (Habibul Bashar) is the best skipper from Bangladesh. If I had to pick from the entire world, I will go for Sourav Ganguly. I heard a lot about Imran Khan, but didn’t get to see him much,” Mashrafe was quoted as saying in an interview with Business Standard.
“From the ones I have seen, I would pick Ricky Ponting, though everyone may say that he was lucky to get a strong team. But I will say that the team needed to be taken care of even with big names. There are lot of players, who had records similar to Ponting. They needed to be managed as well.”
“So, after Ponting and Ganguly, I’ll go for MS Dhoni. I have seen Dhoni throughout his career. These are my best three. Among them, Ganguly was very different and I would be placing him ahead of Dhoni and Ponting,” he added.
Mashrafe didn’t speak much on former South African skipper Late Hansie Cronje. The speedster reckons that Cronje was an exceptional leader, but his career was marred owing to the controversies he got himself tangled into in the latter part of his journey.
Mashrafe himself was an efficient skipper. In 2015, under his leadership, Bangladesh made it to the World Cup quarter-finals, beating England. After he last captained the Tigers against Zimbabwe, Tamim Iqbal was appointed as the new ODI skipper.
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