Bangladesh one-day international captain Mashrafee bin Murtaza’s availability in the forthcoming series against West Indies was uncertain due to his desire to take part in the general elections in December, hinted Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan on Thursday.
Mashrafe, arguably the most popular cricketer in the country, earlier bought the nomination paper from the ruling party – Awami League — on Sunday to run for general election from Narail-2.
The BCB president, however, confirmed that Mashrafee would be available for the forthcoming ICC World Cup in England and Wales in May next year despite might being a ruling party candidate for the upcoming national election, scheduled to take place on December 30.
‘This is actually difficult to answer,’ said Nazmul on the uncertainty of Mashrafee’s availability in the West Indies series after being asked by the reporters in Mirpur.
‘But as far as I know, he will be available during the World Cup. Currently, there are issues regarding the election and his nomination paper submission. I will get to know once I meet him, maybe today [Thursday].
‘I think if he gets the opportunity, he will play. If he is free even for a single day, he will definitely play, because the game is still his first priority I think.’
Nazmul also claimed that the 35-year old played only as a skipper in the ODI team and it would be best for him to join politics as Mashrafee was likely to retire after the World Cup.
‘He is with the team mainly as the captain. He is more important to us as a captain because we cannot find a captain like him and I don’t think we ever will. He might want to retire after the World Cup. In that case, it is a matter of a few more months,’ he said.
‘There cannot be a better post-retirement plan. If he retires after a few months, what will he do for the next four-and-a-half year? By joining politics, he can at least be in another line through which he could contribute to sports even more strongly, I believe.’
Nazmul also confirmed that ace all-rounder Sakib al Hasan also showed his interest in joining politics but Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina advised him to keep his focus on playing cricket for now.
‘Sakib also wanted to join politics. But since Sakib will play for four or five more years, the honourable prime minister advised him to play [instead of joining politics now]. However, Mashrafe’s case is a bit different,’ he said.
The three-match ODI series between hosts Bangladesh and West Indies will start on December 9 at Mirpur, which will also host the second match on December 11.
Sylhet will host the final match of the ODI series on December 14, the first ever ODI at the ground.
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