Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan, in London for the Inter Parliamentary Cricket World Cup, said yesterday that he wants Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza to call time on his cricket career with a match at home. Hassan also created some confusion over his own board’s announcement on Monday that they had parted ways with coach Steve Rhodes after the country’s World Cup exit by saying that there is ‘every possibility’ the Englishman could not continue in his position.
However, the confusion may be caused by a communication gap between the board members back home and Hassan in London. There is a possibility that Rhodes was offered a continuation in the short term, which he refused — something Hassan alluded to yesterday.
While attending a match, the ruling-party lawmaker also delved into the reason for not continuing with Rhodes.
“I will talk about this when I go back to the country. There were no lackings,” Hassan said when asked what the problem with Rhodes was. “After every World Cup, there is an evaluation of the coaching staff and the players and this was part of that process. Each individual has different styles; I am not saying that his style was bad. But there are problems when mentalities don’t match with us. Which is why we were thinking… we did not let him go; he had an option that he could stay on if he wants for a few more months. We had a discussion with him and thought that there is a possibility that he may leave. But we haven’t gotten anything from him yet. So, the option is still there.”
Then he seemed to backtrack again.
“I don’t know yet. Maybe he gave the decision yesterday night [Tuesday night] or today [Wednesday]… it hasn’t come to me. Since there is the T20 World Cup ahead, I think we should straighten this out soon.”
This, of course, is in direct contradiction with what the board has been saying since the team returned from England on July 7. Bangladesh finished eighth in the 10-team event and BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said on July 8 that the board, in a meeting in London following the Tigers’ loss to Pakistan in their last World Cup match, had decided to cut ties with Rhodes and that it was a mutual decision.
About the 35-year-old Mashrafe, who took just one wicket from eight matches in the World Cup, Hassan said that he had discussed retirement plans with the pacer.
“We will do it [his farewell] as nicely as possible,” Hassan said. “It should be done at home. We told him that during our last conversation with him, that we want to do it back home.”
Hassan spoke at length about Mashrafe the captain and Mashrafe the player.
“He doesn’t make it as a player, but if you talk about it in terms of captaincy then we won’t find a captain like him anywhere,” Hassan said. “I always say that Shakib [Al Hasan] as a player and Mashrafe as captain have no replacements.
“He [Mashrafe] could not do well in the World Cup, but we knew that it was likely that he would not do well. I did not hope that he would do well on pitches and in conditions like this. He was injured and had a Grade 2 tear since the [tri-series] final in Ireland [on May 17], but he’s a fighter. There were discussions once or twice to the effect that he would sit matches out, and he had also determined to do so. Then he thought ‘I have fought all my life for the country, now I will sit the last two matches out? I have often played with injuries’,” was Hassan’s foray into Mashrafe’s thoughts. “Everyone needs to have this mentality.”