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Miraz to continue playing for Chattogram despite captaincy row

COO said Miraz was removed as captain on coach Nixon's advice, but Miraz says that conversation never happened.

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Mehidy Hasan Miraz had marked his captaincy debut at Chattogram Challengers with a four-wicket haul  •  Raton Gomes/BCB

Mehidy Hasan Miraz had marked his captaincy debut at Chattogram Challengers with a four-wicket haul  •  Raton Gomes/BCB

Mehidy Hasan Miraz was talked out of leaving the Chattogram Challengers' team hotel on Sunday afternoon following his rift with the franchise officials. Miraz, who was removed as the captain hours before their match against Sylhet Sunrisers on Saturday, was booked on the 5:30pm flight from Chattogram to Dhaka.
The 24-year old offspinning allrounder didn't train with the rest of the team on Saturday having reportedly informed the Chattogram franchise and BCB's chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury that he wanted to leave the team to be with his ailing mother in Dhaka. Miraz's wife and child were already in the car that was to drive them to the airport when, minutes before they departed the hotel, a team official requested them to return upstairs.
Standing outside the hotel, Miraz singled out Yasir Alam, the chief operating officer of the franchise, for spreading lies. When Miraz was removed as captain, Alam said they were acting on the advise of head coach Paul Nixon. But Miraz claims that wasn't the case.
"Actually I don't have the mentality to play anymore," Miraz said. "What happened in the last day, it doesn't really add up. Three hours before our match, they informed me I was no longer the captain. I told them that they could have informed me earlier. This is very insulting for a player.
"The statement he [COO] gave about the coach suggesting my sacking as captain is totally false," Miraz said. "You can ask the coach. I spoke to him for half an hour. Yasir's statement was totally false. Yasir is the biggest culprit. I am sure he tells the team owner what to do. He is a good man. He doesn't get involved (in team matters)."
Miraz also addressed the rumours that his wanting to move up the batting order had caused a rift in the team. "I have opened the innings for the last two years in BPL. I played well as an opener," he said. "I just gave my opinion. I didn't force anything. If I forced it, I would have opened the innings."
Miraz was quite vocal about his displeasure towards the team's COO. "I will not play if he is around," he said. "If Yasir bhai is not in the franchise, I will play. Otherwise I won't play. As clear as that."
*However, around three hours after a franchise official persuaded Miraz not to leave Chattogram, he attended a press conference with team owner KM Rifat Uzzamanan and said he will continue to play for the side.
"Even if the management gives me the captaincy, I won't do it," Miraz said. "I am saying it frankly in front of him (team owner). But as a player, I will try to play to the best of my ability."
Rifat acknowledged that there was some miscommunication between Miraz and the team management, but added that they have ironed out the differences, particularly between Miraz and Yasir.
*5.45pm GMT, January 30: The article was updated after Miraz attended a press conference with the Chattogram franchise's owner.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84