The issue of Bangladesh ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s retirement is still a cloudy one as the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) are yet undecided on how to provide the inspirational cricketer a farewell.
Making the issue murkier still is that the 35-year-old has not clarified his thoughts on retirement.
As there are no more ODIs for Bangladesh this year in ICC’s Future Tours Programme, there has been speculation about whether the BCB would arrange any fifty-over series at home to bid farewell to Mashrafe, who has already retired from T20I cricket.
There is a one-off Test and two T20Is against Afghanistan at home later this year. Plans are afoot to include Zimbabwe and host a T20I tri-series after the Test.
There was also talk about whether the BCB would change the T20I tri-nation series involving Afghanistan and Zimbabwe into an ODI series – which presumably would give Mashrafe a chance to retire in front of a home crowd, as he wished -- but according to BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury, that is still not confirmed.
“I am yet to receive any final instructions [on arranging a series to bid farewell to Mashrafe] as it’s a policy-based decision. So far, what we have communicated [to ZCB] is that there is a tri-nation series involving Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe and we are heading in that direction,” Nizamuddin told reporters yesterday.
Meanwhile, the BCB is yet to announce the schedule for the one-off Test against Afghanistan and it was learned that the visitors will take part in the Test between August 31 and September 10, which will be followed by the tri-nation series.
“First, there will be a Test series with Afghanistan and then we will play the tri-nation or bilateral T20I or ODI series during the first week of September. So far there are some optional discussions going on between the boards but I think if Afghanistan confirms, we will go with the T20s,” he said.
Although Zimbabwe cricket has been suspended by the ICC over political interferences, the BCB CEO informed that there will not be any issues for Zimbabwe to take part in the series.
Questions still remain for the Tigers fans on when actually Mashrafe will retire from international cricket as the cricketer previously informed that he wished to bid farewell to the game in front of a home crowd.
Even if the BCB manages to arrange an ODI series at their own expense as a tribute to the legendary cricketer, it will mean little without an official announcement from Mashrafe – who has maintained radio silence recently -- about his retirement to make his stance clear.