"I deserved better after serving the nation for 20 years"- Mashrafe Mortaza lashes out at Bangladesh board

Mashrafe Mortaza
Mashrafe Mortaza

Mashrafe Mortaza has criticized the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for their lack of communication regarding his place in the national team. The seamer last played for Bangladesh in 2020 against Zimbabwe and was ignored for the series against West Indies this year.

Mashrafe Mortaza revealed he was asked about a possible retirement before the Zimbabwe series, but since then, BCB haven't reached out to him with any proposal for a farewell series.

"It's unfortunate. At least I deserved better after serving the nation for 20 years. Only Papon Bhai (Nazmul Hassan) asked me what I thought about it (retirement) before the Zimbabwe series. In fact, I did not want to retire with the memory of the World Cup. I was the highest wicket-taker in the previous three series.
"After the Covid-19, I gained fitness and took five wickets and bowled well. But no one told me officially that they were not considering me. They could've told me, 'look, we are not considering you for the World Cup, play the West Indies series and retire'. The senior players of the team could've suggested so," the right-arm bowler said in a chat with Cricbuzz.

Mashrafe Mortaza added further in this regard, saying:

"Yes, I was given that proposal to retire in the Zimbabwe series, but it was after they made the plan, and it came in the media. Still, Papon Bhai gave me due respect, and I told him that I would play the BPL and let him know about my decision. He agreed. So there was an agreement, and I expected to get another proposal, but it never came to me."

Mashrafe Mortaza has been a stalwart of Bangladesh cricket, playing 220 ODIs, 36 Tests & 54 T20Is for his country. The seamer has 390 wickets to his name in international cricket.

My fitness scores are higher than some of the established players: Mashrafe Mortaza

Mashrafe Mortaza celebrating a fall of a wicket with his teammates
Mashrafe Mortaza celebrating a fall of a wicket with his teammates

Mashrafe Mortaza also highlighted how claims of him being unfit are false. The medium-pacer said that his fitness scores are much better than some of the team's established members.

"One of the reasons they cited was my fitness. Well, they have the data, and they know very well if I failed a single fitness test or not. I can assure you that my scores will be higher than even some of the established players, be it the beep test or the yo-yo test. How can you say that I failed a fitness test without even checking," the former Bangladesh skipper said.

However, the 38-year-old acknowledged that chances of making a comeback are slim.

"When I was left out of the squad, I immediately knew that the chances of making a comeback are meagre. On top of that, I am 38 now. I said that I would continue to play domestic cricket as I love the game. I am just pointing out what professionalism is. The board hasn't shown it."

Bangladesh are currently in New Zealand, where they trail the 3-match T20I series 1-0. The Tigers have already lost the ODI series 3-0.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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