BCB president Nazmul Hasan following a fact-finding meeting on the national team’s recent below-par performances said the board has asked former T20I captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza to reconsider his decision and return to the shortest format for Bangladesh.
The Tigers in their next assignment will tour Sri Lanka next month for the Nidahas tri-nation T20I series involving India and the host nation. The Tigers are scheduled to leave Dhaka on March 4 this year.
Mashrafe’s possible return to the shortest format and the board making unofficial requests to the right-arm veteran pacer have been topics which were discussed widely in the country’s cricket community for the past few weeks.
The discussions gained momentum after Bangladesh’s horrific defeats in the past few weeks. The Tigers suffered convincing defeats against the Lankans in the T20I series, in the process going down 2-0 in the series earlier this week, and the poor state of the Bangladesh pace attack was clearly visible. Eventually, the BCB chief made an official statement of the board’s wish to make Mashrafe return in the format.
“There is no doubt Mashrafe is the best bowler of the country in T20Is with the new ball. Honestly I had told him to play the T20I series against Sri Lanka. But he said he wants to play the Tests instead,” informed Nazmul to the media Tuesday.
“We had a discussion of making Mashrafe return to the side. Everyone is telling me that he will play if I tell him to but the problem is I can’t pressurise him,” the BCB boss added.
It is understood that Nazmul, who was away from the country for the last few weeks, was in touch with Mashrafe discussing the cricketer’s possible return in the T20I series against the Lankans. There was even an occasion in the recent past when the BCB supremo had messaged Mashrafe a squad including the right-arm pacer’s name, with the option of replacing his name if he feels so.
Following series of incidents in the dressing room during the tour of Sri Lanka last year and with Chandika Hathurusingha as the Tigers head coach, the then Bangladesh T20I captain Mashrafe made a shocking retirement from the format during the toss of the first T20I against the home side in Colombo.