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Mashrafe Mortaza quit T20Is to give more opportunities to youngsters

"The decision I took is because I think some of our younger bowlers like Rubel Hossain aren't getting much opportunities," he said.

Mashrafe Mortaza
(Photo Source: Getty Images)

Mashrafe Mortaza has been one of the best cricketers to have turned up for the Bangladesh side. He recently announced his retirement from the T20Is prior to the first T20I match against Sri Lanka. He lead his side in the game where the visitors failed to register a win. He will be playing his last T20I tomorrow (April 6) and the curtains will be down on an illustrious career.

As per the quotes in Cricbuzz, the Bangladesh T20 skipper said that the decision to quit the game was not an easy one. Reflecting back at the potential reasons as why he quit the game, Mashrafe Mortaza noted that it was perhaps the right time to pass on the baton to the younger brigade. He cited the example of younger bowlers like Rubel Hossain, who are not getting enough opportunities. He added that he feels the shortest format of the game is best suited for younger players.

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“The decision I took is because I think some of our younger bowlers like Rubel Hossain aren’t getting much opportunities. He has got seven wickets in the last two T20 matches. It hurts me to see that he is not playing. So it was an easy decision. I think this is the time to help our youngsters develop,” a very thoughtful Mashrafe said.

“It is always tough to hang up your jersey. But I thought that if I look behind me, someone like Rubel is missing. He should have been in the first XI, but he is missing out because of me. Since he is performing better than me, he should be in the team. I still feel that T20s is the best place for our youngsters to grow for a bigger stage like Tests and ODIs,” he added further.

Mashrafe Mortaza has been a pillar stone in the Bangladeshi line up. He made his debut way back in 2001 at the bare age of 18. His career has been plagued by injuries but the performances have been top notch. Speaking a little more on the shorter formats, Mashrafe quoted that he never liked the T20s despite having played in 5 World Cups. The only reason he continued playing the format was because he had the responsibility of the captain.

“When T20s started in 2006, I never enjoyed that format. I played five World Cups but I never enjoyed it. Maybe because of my injuries. This format is quick and sharp so you don’t get enough chances to warm up your body, especially my legs which hurt a lot. I still kept going because the cricket board was respecting me as a captain. I was trying really hard to build this team as much as I can. It was a real pleasure to captain the side and play with some fine lads,” he quoted.

“I still enjoy ODIs, but I never really enjoyed T20s. But when the cricket board made me a captain, I wanted to build this team. I don’t know how much I was able to. It is a huge honour to be Bangladesh’s T20 captain. I don’t think I can ask for anything more,” he conceded further.

Talking about the only format of the game that he plays now – the ODIs – Mashrafe said he is yet to take a call on that. He had quit Test cricket back in 2009.

“I am not thinking about quitting ODIs at this moment. A lot of people are involved in such a decision, like my family, friends, teammates and the media,” he conceded.

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