Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is likely to succeed Mashrafe Mortaza as the country’s Twenty20 captain.
The move comes after Mortaza announced that he would be retiring from the shortest format following the ongoing series against Sri Lanka.
With Mortaza on the verge of giving up the captaincy, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan confirmed that he and the board of directors all believe Shakib is the best candidate to take over the leadership role.
“Shakib is the most likely candidate to take the T20 captaincy,” Hassan said. “We always had five candidates. Since Mashrafe and Mushfiqur are already captains, we only had Tamim, Mahmudullah and Shakib as the remaining ones. Shakib’s mental attitude and performance shows that he has matured, and is a full grown-up. He is ahead of the other candidates.”
Hassan added that Mortaza will continue captaining Bangladesh in ODI cricket.
“There’s no chance of changing the ODI captaincy. One year ago we thought the Champions Trophy will be his last tournament, but now it seems he can play more,” Hassan said. “He will play as long as he is fit. There’s no chance for him to be out of the squad. It is a different issue if the captain or coach thinks someone can play in his place.”
Hassan also delved into the details of a private conversation he had with Shakib, Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim in Colombo on Monday, whereby he told them that won’t be dropped for the foreseeable future unless they were the centre of disciplinary issues.
“On the eve of the first T20, I spoke to Tamim, Shakib, Mushfiqur and Mashrafe. I told them that nobody can drop you given how much you’ve contributed to the team,” the BCB president said. “At least until I am around. You have to make your own exit plan. If you play badly for a game or two, or even for a year, you won’t be dropped. Except disciplinary issues, you won’t be dropped for performance.
“Who would drop Shakib? Tamim has been one of our best batsmen. Mushfiqur is our batting pillar. He is like our Rahul Dravid. Who would drop them? No question about it. Mashrafe is beyond performance. He doesn’t have to bat or bowl well. He has a lot of something different. It is hard to find another Mashrafe. His leadership quality, and his love for team and the country is a rare quality. I am not saying others don’t have it but his is of a different level.”