Mashrafe defends Tamim over Stokes argument

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said that Tamim Iqbal was not the one at fault during his spat with Ben Stokes at the end of the second ODI in Mirpur. The broadcaster's footage showed that both Jonny Bairstow and Tamim didn't let go of their hand shake before engaging into an argument which prompted Stokes to push Tamim to his left and get involved.

Shakib Al Hasan intervened to calm the situation at that point though later Stokes tweeted his displeasure while England captain Jos Buttler and coach Trevor Bayliss said his team will not take a backward step. Mashrafe said that he was not blaming anyone and when asked if he would apologise to Buttler over the previous incident, for which he and Sabbir Rahman were fined 20 per cent of their match fees, did not feel he had to explain the team's actions.

"I saw the video later and I didn't find any fault of Tamim or my players," Mashrafe said. "I am not saying it is anyone's fault but at the same time I didn't find any fault in Tamim. We went very normally to shake hands with their players. When we lost the first match, we shook hands with them as well. I don't want to blame anyone. I didn't hear Tamim say anything or see him do anything."

"Actually we didn't do anything wrong. Whatever we feel, we just celebrated. We don't have to say sorry but whatever the things happened, match referee was there. Still I feel that the boys just celebrated a wicket."

Mashrafe added that Bangladesh have also been in the receiving end of such behaviour but it is important to move on since the punishments have already been handed out by the match referee.

"Actually the discussion and criticism has not touched me at all. I don't even know what happened. Sabbir and I got fined but I have not been thinking about these things. I have never thought about these things in my career.

"If you look at the past, I have played for 16 years, we have heard comments of many people and we have kept on playing, I don't think that we did something unjustly. Many things may happen in the heat of the moment, so one doesn't have to go overboard with this. Everyone will have to take this easily. The match referee was there, he saw our mistakes and we have been fined. I have accepted this. It is a gentleman's game and we will try to play our best."

Moeen Ali, who spoke before Mashrafe in the pre-match press conference, and had been close to the incident in the handshakes on Sunday, believed that the Bangladesh players should have showed a bit more respect while celebrating the Buttler wicket. He also felt that the incident may have been "a little bit" blown out of proportion.

"What I know from Bangladesh's point of view is that it was a big wicket they celebrated but there is also a way you celebrate sometimes and show a bit of respect," he said. "But things can happen before and after a match, it will just fire up everybody and it makes for a good series now.

"Hopefully both teams will behave well in this game and according to the rules of the game and we can look back at the series and say this was a very good cricketing series."