Mashrafee Mortaza is undoubtedly one of the best captain in Bangladesh cricket’s history. But his captaincy farewell and his entire retirement made questions many times that he is unhappy. He cleared about this in an interview with Cricbuzz.
“No, that was not the case entirely. Papon bhai [BCB president Nazmul Hasan] spoke with me about this (retirement issue). Papon bhai also told me that he will only talk with me and will not talk to anyone else about this issue. He repeatedly called me and told me to make a decision. Then I told him at that time I will play till the BPL.”
But BCB president broke his commitment as he told before press. Mash has cleared this also….
“He then went to the press and said that. I clearly remember he told everyone to leave the room as he wanted to talk to me personally. In this case, he has given me enough respect. The problem is those who were not there spread rumours. They didn’t even know anything about what was discussed between me and Papon bhai.”
Mash was hurt by the talk of his salary. He described the matter as well.
“They spoke about my salary, asking why would the board pay someone without anything in return? Have I been playing cricket for 18 years thinking about money? If I thought about money, there were many opportunities for me then. I didn’t play cricket for money.
What was worse is that they spread rumours like the Bangladesh team played nine and a half players in the World Cup. Do you feel I deserve this? Maybe they [board] wanted to give me a better farewell but you must see my side as well. There were talks about me going for the Sri Lanka tour. I would have gone to Sri Lanka if I had not been injured.
All of a sudden there was this rush to push me (out). All I know is that I have given my life to cricket even though I was torn apart and bleeding inside. If money was the main criteria, I could have done many things, more so when my career was troubled with so many injuries. I didn’t even go to play in ICL when I had an offer of BDT eight crores. I didn’t do that. I have played cricket by giving my life and maybe I could not become such a great player. But at least I expect some kind of respect.”
Mashrafee then cleared his position over politics and cricket to Cricbuzz in a question-answer session.
You were not called to be part of players’ movement despite being the ODI captain then. Was it because you were also in politics?
“How do I answer this question? Because if there is a distance with the team after I joined politics, then it should have been worse now that I’m out of the team. But I still have good communication with everyone. I have played many matches with my teammates since I came into politics. I was playing poorly and Tamim also wasn’t able to play well (at one point). We shared our feelings with each other. If there was a sense of distance, I would not have done that.”