Bangladesh in West Indies 2009 June 23, 2009

Mortaza named Bangladesh captain

Cricinfo staff

Bangladesh have named fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza as captain for the forthcoming tours of West Indies and Zimbabwe. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has decided to relieve Mohammad Ashraful of his captaincy duties to allow him to focus on his batting. Shakib Al Hasan, the world's No.1 allrounder in ODIs, has been named the vice-captain.

"The board wants to sincerely thank Mohammad Ashraful for his contribution as skipper," Mohammed Jalal Yunus, the BCB's Media & Communications Committee Chairman, said. "The decision to replace him was taken with the intention of relieving the load on Ashraful so that he can play his natural game.

"We all know his quality and what he is capable of as a batsman and we are confident that without the burden of captaincy his batting would flourish and he would contribute more to the team."

Bangladesh faced plenty of flak on returning home from the ICC World Twenty20 in England where they failed to qualify for the Super Eights. The under-fire Ashraful had insisted he had no plans of quitting the captaincy.

Ashraful took over the captaincy from Habibul Bashar in June 2007 at the age of 22, but his journey was far from smooth. In 38 ODIs under his leadership, Bangladesh managed to win only eight games, with a majority of those against the minnows. The significant victories were against Sri Lanka and New Zealand. The team also failed to win a Test under him, losing 12 out of 13. He also under-performed as a batsman in both forms, averaging 22.58 in Tests and 25.60 in ODIs.

Perhaps his most noteworthy contribution as captain was leading his team to the group stages of the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa in 2007. Despite that, Bangladesh won only two out of 11 games.

Mortaza has been Bangladesh's strike bowler over the last few years and has turned in match-winning performances in ODIs. His four-wicket haul all but knocked India out of the World Cup in 2007 and he returned similar figures in the team's only victory against New Zealand, in Mirpur last year.

The tour of West Indies begins on July 3 with a three-day match against West Indies A. The team will play two Tests, three ODIs and a Twenty20.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Atique on June 24, 2009, 4:31 GMT

    Finally BCB has take a good decision!!! Ash do not posses any quality to lead Bangladesh national team, even his this kind of form will surely let him out of the national team shortly. Sakib will the outstanding in the Future years. I'm just waiting for Aftab.............. He completes the Bangladesh team.

  • craig on June 23, 2009, 16:58 GMT

    good decision by bcb and good choice ,mortaza ac captain more of a thinking cricketer all,s not lost ashraful can now work on his batting form and his weakness and come back as a stronger captain.

  • Mustafizur on June 23, 2009, 14:16 GMT

    I totally agrre with Faysalfa and Masudali that BCB follows PCB and bring the desrving ICL players in the team. At the end of the day we want to see a strong Bangladesh team. Ashraf can now concentrate on his batting as the added burden is not there. At the same time Mashrafee has to be careful with his added responsibility and learn from what Ashraf went thru. We should not take this change as a disgrace to Ashraf but as a blessing. He is still a very talented batsman in the team who can create match winning oportunities. Ashraf, our team needs you to play your cricket.

  • rabez on June 23, 2009, 14:14 GMT

    I did not understand at all how the captain of Bangladesh Cricket team become so complacent about the performance. What message does it convey to the members of the team? We need an aggressive captain with an attitude to lead all out effort to win matches.And i believe Mashrafe is the right man and hopefully he can lead us effectively.

  • Wayne on June 23, 2009, 13:16 GMT

    I think Mortaza desreves this opportunity. He is a disciplined bowler and would be picked for many of the higher ranked countries he that was his nationality. Ashruful on the other hand lacks consistency and discipline. These are characteristics that a captain must have.

  • Rafiqul on June 23, 2009, 12:31 GMT

    Its a good news But let see in future becoz when some got the captaincy then he is flying in the sky & forget about team. well i hope he will be better from Asraful

  • SM on June 23, 2009, 11:27 GMT

    Good Decision taken at last; it could be great if ... Sakib is considered for the hot spot...Ash should reckon his days/ batting now.

  • FAZLUL on June 23, 2009, 11:20 GMT

    Alhamdulillah! At last we got changed the little master. There is no confusion that Ashraful has talent but under the captaincy pressure he forgot how to play cricket. Mashrafee is Masrafee. We love him. So, let see what Mashrafee is going to give us. Good luck Mashrafee, Good luck Bangladesh and Good luck cricket.

    Thanks Fazlul Karim

  • Samrat on June 23, 2009, 10:48 GMT

    It's a very wise decision to select Mashrafe Mortaza as a captain. Give Ashraful to play free without any burden. He already played some match winning innings for Bangladesh. So, BD definately need him as a proper batsman. For the upcoming tour Bangladesh need to improve lot of things. At first they have to play as a unit. Need to improve their keeping, slip catching and need to improve specially in batting. I will hope Mashrafe will bring good result for Bangladesh. So, good luck for Bangladesh, new captain and all team as well.

  • Samrat on June 23, 2009, 10:35 GMT

    Thanks to BCB, at last made a very good decision to remove the burden of captaincy from Mohammad Ashraful. Ashraful is a very good player no doubt at all and he already played some match winning innings for Bangladesh, but main reason to remove him from captaincy, I think, give him concentrate only his batting. If Ashraful bats well, definitely Bangladesh performances will improve. Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is a very much competitive cricketer for Bangladesh. It's a wise decision to select him as a captain. Hopefully he will bring better result for Bangladesh for the upcoming tour. Good luck Bangladesh and the new captain and the whole team as well.

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