Mashrafe Mortaza, Bangladesh's permanent ODI captain for the last five years, has been talked about a lot in recent times in matters of his retirement from the international stage. Talks about his retirement sparked again when the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hassan said that Mashrafe had called him to remove the veteran from the board's central contract to give another player an opportunity.
In the post-match press conference of the eliminator of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 2019-20, where Mashrafe's side Dhaka Platoon lost to Chattogram Challengers and got knocked out of the tournament, Mashrafe talked about his retirement and also about leaving captaincy.
Mashrafe said that he was willing to leave the role of the skipper of the national ODI side at this very moment if the board wants him to.
"If the board (BCB) wants me to leave my post as captain, then I will leave it right now. And regarding my personal decision on the matter, I would like to keep that to myself."
There is an if regarding Mashrafe leaving his post as captain as he was appointed captain of the ODI side until the 2019 Cricket World Cup and also was appointed as captain in the Sri Lanka tour but he opted to not play there and questions stay at large that if he was still the appointed captain of the ODI side.
Mashrafe also talked about his withdrawal from the central contract saying that it was better to give someone else the place in the central contract because that might boost that player's spirit to do well and also as the next Cricket World Cup is only three years away from now where Mashrafe is unlikely to feature, it is important to ensure players for that.
"I have opted out of the central contract to provide someone else with an opportunity. The World Cup is only three years away. The player getting selected in the central contract (instead of me) will think about it and become more responsible. His will to play will increase and that is why I feel that someone new should be handed the contract," Mashrafe said.
Mashrafe also talked about his retirement saying that once he thought about retiring from the field but now he felt that it was not necessary.
"There were many great players in Bangladesh who did not retire from the field like Habibul Bashar, who has always scored crucial runs for Bangladesh in crisis moments. Maybe only Khaled Mahmud managed to do so from the field but that is an exception. Once I thought about retiring from the field but now I think that it is not necessary," Mashrafe said.
He further added, "Heartfelt thanks to the board for thinking about my retirement match. I have given out a clear message that I don't have any desire regarding this. If any opportunity arrives, then I will see and there is also a question about from whom I will take my leave."
Answering a question about playing the next BPL, Mashrafe answered that he hopes to do so if any team picked him in the auction as he had to wait till the fourth round in the auction of this BPL to get a team.