One last hurrah waiting for Mashrafe
Live Correspondent: As Bangladesh will take on Pakistan on Friday at Lord’s, the most sacred place for any cricketer, it will be the last match for Mashrafe Bin Mortaza in the World Cup.
Before leaving the country for the tournament, Mashrafe himself made it clear, that it is definitely going to be his last World Cup but he didn’t give any hint whether he would hang up his boots after the showpiece event.
The discussion has been in the air for the few days whether Mashrafe would retire from the International cricket after the World Cup but the most successful captain of the country downplayed it, saying he wouldn’t say anything about his retirement in the midst of the tournament.
It created confusion as he didn’t clear the air and so many pondered he would continue cricket even after the World Cup. This sparked such debate that Mashrafe had to pledge to all not to break the concentration of the players, raising his retirement issue during the World Cup.
But his retirement talk was reinforced due to his shaky performance in this tournament. His captaincy was as usually inspirational but in bowling he couldn’t lead the pack like the past. A just one wicket in seven games gave the proof of how lackluster he has been in this tournament.
Whereas he came here with just three wickets shy being of the fourth captain after Wasim Akram, Imran Khan and Jason Holder to scalp 100 wickets in ODI cricket.
Despite playing seven games, he is still short of two wickets to get to the feat and the kind of form he has been going through; it is not sure whether he could reach the landmark in his side’s last match in this edition of World Cup against Pakistan.
But for the time being more than his record, his retirement issue became the talk of the town especially after Mashrafe’s body language in the match against India.
Despite going under knife seven times for his knee injury and going through several injuries throughout his career, he was sharp and electrifying in fielding and bowling. Many times he showed his love to take the challenge to thrive in difficult condition and strong oppositions that also motivated his players and spread the confidence in the dressing room.
Few days ago, Mashrafe however made it clear that he would take his decision after returning to the country. If he remained strict with his point, there is hardly any chance that any decision may come at Lord’s after Bangladesh’s match against Pakistan.
But it is sure, the game against Pakistan is going to be his last match in World Cup and Mashrafe will leave no stone unturned to make it memorable. And if he gets those two wickets to complete the feat to claim 100 wickets as captain, it will be a happy ending too despite Bangladesh failed to make the semifinal cut.
Dhaka 4 July (campuslive24.com)//MIH