Bangladesh’s right-arm medium-fast bowler, Mashrafe Mortaza, has made it clear that he has no plans for retirement. He also hinted that he wanted to continue playing cricket but not for Bangladesh’s national team.
Mashrafe Mortaza played his last ODI during the World Cup 2019 against Pakistan. He was leading the side as captain during the tournament but has not played a single game since then. He was selected for the Sri Lanka series but did not get an opportunity to play.
After the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) eliminator match between Mortaza’s team, Dhaka Platoon and Chattogram Challengers, there were rumors that the 36-year-old has finally said farewell to cricket. However, Mortaza has denied any plans for retirement.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hasan said about Mortaza: “Mashrafe called us today and said that he is not interested to take the national contract. He wants it to be given to some youngster. We wanted to give him a farewell but now it seems he is not interested.
“He wants to continue, even if that means playing domestic cricket. Earlier in England, during the World Cup, I had told him that we want to give him a farewell match in Dhaka but now it seems that we have to talk to him again to know a clear picture,” BCB president Nazuml Hasan added.
Mashrafe Mortaza brushed aside all plans regarding his retirement and a proper send-off by saying: “Till yesterday, I was a centrally contracted cricketer with the cricket board but not anymore. I always believe the BCB is the cricketers’ guardian. I never took pride in going against them. I thank the BCB for considering me to give me a proper send-off, but I don’t have much interest in it.
“There was a time when I thought about having a farewell game but at this point in my career, I don’t feel the need of it,” he said. “Maybe some players want to leave when they are at their peak while some keep playing because they enjoy the game.
“Now it could be the national team or in another place. A player does not play only aiming for the national team. I want to play cricket: Dhaka League, I have BPL too. I am enjoying where I am playing. Selectors will think about the national team. I think I have the freedom to play as long as I want. I won’t retire if anyone insists,” said Mashrafe Mortaza.