Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 1st T20I, Colombo April 4, 2017

Mashrafe says he's stepping aside for next generation

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Mashrafe Mortaza calls the shots in the field at the start of his final series as Bangladesh's T20 captain © Associated Press

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said that his aversion to T20s ultimately pushed him to retire from the format. Speaking on the day that he announced the current T20I series against Sri Lanka would be his last for Bangladesh, Mashrafe said that he was asked to rebuild the T20I side when given the captaincy in 2014, but now he was blocking the path of other fast bowlers like Rubel Hossain.

"It is always tough to hang up your jersey," Mashrafe said following Bangladesh's six-wicket defeat in the first T20I at Colombo on Tuesday. "But I thought that if I look behind me, someone like Rubel is missing out. He should have been in the first XI, but he is missing out because of me. Since he is performing better than me, he should be in the team. I still feel this team is the best place for our youngsters to grow for a bigger stage like Tests and ODIs.

"I never enjoyed that format when T20 started. I played five World Cups but I never enjoyed it. Maybe because of my injuries. This format is quick and sharp so you don't get enough chances to warm up your body, especially my legs which hurt a lot. I still kept going because cricket board was respecting me as a captain. I was trying really hard to build this team as much as I can. I don't know how much I did but it was a real pleasure to captain in T20s."

Bangladesh had picked four fast bowlers in the game on Tuesday, with Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed and newcomer Mohammad Saifuddin accompanying Mashrafe. The captain had taken just one wicket in Bangladesh's previous T20I series, against New Zealand, while Rubel took seven wickets but still missed out. Interestingly, it was the exiting Mashrafe who bowled better than the rest in the game, finishing with figures of 2 for 32 in four overs.

Mashrafe didn't reveal too many details about what pushed him to take such a decision, but said that the final call was made the night before the game. He informed the BCB president Nazmul Hassan almost immediately but also stated his intention to continue in one-day cricket.

"I am not thinking about [quitting ODIs] at this moment," Mashrafe said. "I don't plan out many things, but [retiring from the T20I team] was a tough decision. A lot of people are involved in such a decision, like my family, friends, team-mates and the media. I thought it would be the same if I took the decision today or two days later.

"The only thought was that I would leave the format. Perhaps it was a sudden decision. I didn't think too much about it. I felt that I didn't want to play T20s."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • M.z. Ananto on April 7, 2017, 13:13 GMT

    If only mashrafe was bcb president one day

  • syed on April 6, 2017, 23:02 GMT

    Thank you Masrafee for leading and fighting in the field for our country. The first true BD cricket legend.

  • Rownok on April 5, 2017, 19:40 GMT

    I have only respect and more and more respect for our beloved mashrafee,he is an inspiration. The courage he showed by not quitting the game after multiple operation is unseen in the history of sports.He is the true LEGEND!!!,please anyone before commenting something on him,try to learn a few thing about this real tiger,even his worst enemy will respect him.

  •   Alla P. Gregory on April 5, 2017, 12:33 GMT

    Team above self! Bravo #Mashrafe

  • Atit on April 5, 2017, 10:45 GMT

    I think he was a great captain for his country, use to wear his heart on his sleeve and wanted to win for his country no matter what, he shakib, mush shabbir are some real fighters in this team , he reminds me of kohli to some extent when some one misfields or gets out, good player but a very good leader, all the very best from an Indian....

  •   Karthik Eyan on April 5, 2017, 10:35 GMT

    NO disrespect to him though. compared to his limelight hungry bangla team mates , am impressed to see him quitting international cricket on his own term ( or so i blv).but to be fair , he is probably the most undeserving international cricketer to be honest

  • Manik on April 5, 2017, 9:04 GMT

    Mash is doing better than any other bowler even now. He should have stayed few more years.

  • kerlye5475145 on April 5, 2017, 8:14 GMT

    It is always sad to see such a good cricketer and leader retire. I am glad he will still play ODI's for a while because he has been instrumental in BD's recent rise. All the best from a Lankan fan!

  • sohel on April 5, 2017, 7:14 GMT

    T20 is a rubbish format of cricket never liked it and never will. The shorter format will kill the proper real cricket like test and one day. Thank you for your beautiful service for Bangladesh Cricket.

  • Sumith on April 5, 2017, 6:37 GMT

    . "But I thought that if I look behind me, someone like Rubel is missing out. He should have been in the first XI, but he is missing out because of me. Since he is performing better than me, he should be in the team. I still feel this team is the best place for our youngsters to grow for a bigger stage like Tests and ODIs. - TRUE GENTLEMAN & SPORTSMAN.

    "I never enjoyed that format when T20 started. I played five World Cups but I never enjoyed it. - TRUE CRICKETER. I am 100% with you Mashrafe, T20 is not real cricket. Its for the gambling. It may murder the true cricket one day.

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