Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has said that he will not be distracted by his election campaign in the lead up to, and during the upcoming ODI series against West Indies. After the three ODI series ends on December 14, Mashrafe is scheduled to contest in the Narail-2 constituency elections in his home district, with the polls scheduled to be held on December 30
Mashrafe said that he is pursuing the political opportunity considering his open-ended future after the 2019 World Cup which, as he had suggested previously, and also on Tuesday, could be his last international tournament.
"My mindset is completely focused on training and the ODI series that's coming up," Mashrafe said. I will only concentrate on that [the election campaign] after December 14. If I play till the World Cup, I have about seven or eight months remaining in my playing career. I don't know what I am going to do in the following four-and-a-half years. The Prime Minister has given me an opportunity to serve the people."
Mashrafe said that he particularly held the press conference a day before the ODI side began training so that it wouldn't cause a distraction like how it had on the day his nomination was confirmed by the governing party, Bangladesh Awami League.
"I don't want to talk about politics during the ODI series, which is why I held a press conference today. I personally felt that if there are to be questions about my political career, it should be today.
"I discussed it with [media manager] Rabeed bhai that I would have to face these questions, so it should be before the series gets underway," he said.
Mashrafe's fitness had kept him from retiring after the 2017 Champions Trophy, but this time around, he said he would "review" his career path at the end of next year's World Cup.
"My mindset was made up for the World Cup. At one point I didn't know if I could go further than the Champions Trophy [last year], but fitness kept me going. I will review my decision if I feel differently after the World Cup. My personal goal was to play till the World Cup, which is eight months away. During this time I will be playing within my plan. Whether I will review my decision [to quit after the World Cup] or not, time will tell," he said.