Mortaza to retire from T20 Internationals

“This is going to be my last T20 series for Bangladesh”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has confirmed that he will retire from Twenty20 Internationals following the conclusion of the ongoing series against Sri Lanka.

Mortaza admitted that one of the reasons he had decided to walk away from the shortest format was purely down to the fact that he never really enjoyed it.

“This is going to be my last T20 series for Bangladesh,” he said prior to the first Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. “I would like to thank BCB, my family and friends, team-mates and coaching staff. I would also like to thank my fans who really supported me in the last 15-16 years.”

After the match concluded, Mortaza added: “I never enjoyed that format when T20 started. I played five World Cups but I never enjoyed it. Maybe because of my injuries. This format is quick and sharp so you don’t get enough chances to warm up your body, especially my legs which hurt a lot.

“I still kept going because cricket board was respecting me as a captain. I was trying really hard to build this team as much as I can. I don’t know how much I did but it was a real pleasure to captain in T20s.”

Mortaza also pointed out that he doesn’t want to hold on to a spot in the playing XI and deny younger talents an opportunity to shine on the international stage.

“It has been a great honor for me to represent Bangladesh in T20I for more than 10 years,” a statement on Mortaza’s Facebook page said. “I believe that this team is currently a balanced one & there are some promising young stars. There were some bad & some good days as well. I always tried to make my fans happy.

“I am very sorry to each and every fan for not being able to make them happy in every match. Right now as a team we are playing good cricket. I am sure Bangladesh will keep on playing good cricket in the days to come.

“This is high time for me to say good-bye to T20 format so that many youngsters can get the opportunity to showcase their talent and thus BCB can nurture them for the future. Let me congratulate the new Captain in advance & I am sure the best is yet to come.”

After the match against Sri Lanka, he said: “It is always tough to hang up your jersey.┬áBut I thought that if I look behind me, someone like Rubel is missing out. He should have been in the first XI, but he is missing out because of me.

“Since he is performing better than me, he should be in the team. I still feel this team is the best place for our youngsters to grow for a bigger stage like Tests and ODIs.”

The 33-year-old will continue captaining Bangladesh in ODIs and revealed that he currently has no plans to retire from the 50-over format.

“I am not thinking about [quitting ODIs] at this moment,” Mashrafe said. “I don’t plan out many things, but [retiring from the T20I team] was a tough decision. A lot of people are involved in such a decision, like my family, friends, team-mates and the media. I thought it would be the same if I took the decision today or two days later.

“The only thought was that I would leave the format. Perhaps it was a sudden decision. I didn’t think too much about it. I felt that I didn’t want to play T20s.”

Mortaza has currently represented his country in 53 Twenty20 Internationals and taken 41 wickets at an average 36.51.

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