Mortaza named ODI captain; Mushfiqur continues as Test skipper

Rahim's tenure as Test captain is highly likely to be over after the series against Zimbabwe

Rahim’s tenure as Test captain is highly likely to be over after the series against Zimbabwe

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have appointed pace bowler Mashrafe Mortaza as ODI captain, while wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim will continue on as Test skipper.

However, Rahim will only captain Bangladesh for the upcoming series against Zimbabwe, after which his tenure as skipper is highly likely to be over.

The BCB also announced that all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will be the ODI vice-captain, while opening batsman Tamim Iqbal has been named vice-captain of the country’s Test team.

“The board has decided to appoint Mashrafe Mortaza as ODI captain for the Zimbabwe series,” BCB president Nazmul Hassan said. “His deputy will be Shakib Al Hasan. Mushfiqur Rahim will remain as Test captain, with Tamim Iqbal being his vice-captain. Before we announced the new captain, the board has spoken to Mushfiqur, who was not negative about any of this.

“What we decide for the future will depend on what happens in the Zimbabwe series. This [split captaincy] is an experiment before we take a final decision on the World Cup. Prior to their departure for the Asian Games, I spoke to Mashrafe, Shakib and Tamim. They know of their responsibilities, but I reminded them that they are senior cricketers and our best players. Everything that they do – their attitude and behaviour – is linked to the team spirit.

“Mashrafe is injury prone so he won’t feel let down if we change the captain. When I told him [Shakib] about taking over the one-day team, he offered to be the vice-captain. He will give the same effort if he is not the captain. If he [Mortaza] is fit, he will be the captain, but if he injured, the vice-captain will take over.”

Hassan also noted that the BCB decided to relieve Rahim of the ODI captaincy since they want him to concentrate on his batting.

“We considered Mushfiqur’s form as a batsman as one of the major reasons to relieve him of the ODI captaincy,” he said. “He is batting very well, and he can improve even more. So to captain the team, keep wicket and bat in this manner must be very difficult.

“He will remain as Test captain in the Zimbabwe series, and see how he performs. We believe of seeing a positive outcome of this decision in the Zimbabwe series.”

When asked about why the board decided to reduce Al Hasan’s six-month ban to three-and-a-half months, Hassan said: “There was a misunderstanding among people who are not related to cricket that the board had a problem with Shakib. We only had a problem with his behaviour. We believe he is improving, but we will keep an eye on him whether he is a regular member of the side or a vice-captain. He has to keep this in mind. I hope he will uphold the faith and belief that we have placed on him.”

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