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Mashrafe Mortaza

Mashrafe Mortaza to give up ODI captaincy after Zimbabwe series

Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Mortaza will step down from the leadership role at the conclusion of the team’s ongoing three-match series against Zimbabwe, which his side have already won with a game to spare.

Mortaza’s decision comes in the wake of the Bangladesh Cricket Board announcing that the Zimbabwe series would be his last as leader, after which he will have to prove his form and fitness to be considered for selection.

Mortaza, for his part, said that the decision to step down was his alone, while adding that he will remain available for selection. "I am leaving the Bangladesh captaincy," Mortaza said on the eve of the third ODI in Sylhet, on Thursday, 5 March. "The third ODI [against Zimbabwe] is going to be my last game as captain. I took the decision myself. As a player, I will keep trying to give my best if I get the opportunity. I wish the next captain all the best.

"I am everything due to cricket. If I didn't finish playing cricket, I would have been doing fish farming."

Mashrafe Mortaza

"I believe that Bangladesh team will reach the next stage under him. I will try to give him all the support through my experience. The three available senior players each have the ability to lead the side. Hope the BCB takes the best one of them."

Mortaza, who is a member of the Bangladesh parliament, said that he will remain involved in cricket once he winds up as a player, whenever the time comes. "I am everything due to cricket," he said. "If I didn't finish playing cricket, I would have been doing fish farming. My future definitely includes cricket, and if a player requires me, I will give it my best. I have to do my work in my constituency until the next election."

Mortaza is, by far, Bangladesh’s most successful captain in the format. He has led the team 87 times – a national record – and won 49 of those games, also the highest for a Bangladesh captain.

Most notable among Mortaza’s achievements as skipper include leading them to the quarter-final of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australia and the semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. Bangladesh also picked up famous series wins over Pakistan, India and South Africa under Mortaza’s leadership.

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