‘Players succumbed to the pressure after board's criticism’ – Mashrafe Mortaza holds BCB responsible for Bangladesh’s poor show in T20 World Cup

After the defeat to Scotland, BCB president Nazmul Hasan Papon had slammed the players for not living up to the expectations.

Mashrafe Mortaza
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Mashrafe Mortaza. (Photo Source: OLLY GREENWOOD/AFP via Getty Images)

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Veteran fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza lashed at the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for the Tigers’ poor show in the T20 World Cup 2021. Mahmudullah and Co. started their campaign with a loss at the hands of Scotland, but came back to beat Oman and Papua New Guinea. In the Super 12, Bangladesh got close to winning against Sri Lanka and West Indies, but failed to go over the line.

Mortaza, who last played international cricket in March 2020, said that criticism from the board didn’t help the Bangladesh players mentally during the tournament. After the loss to Scotland, BCB president Nazmul Hasan Papon slammed the players for not living up to the expectations.

Later, Mahmudullah also spoke up, saying that constructive criticism are welcome, but not belittling. The 38-year-old Mortaza, one of Bangladesh’s leading wicket-takers, said that the BCB showed have been more patient and shown a bit more empathy towards the players.

BCB should have been more patient, says Mashrafe Mortaza

“The players succumbed to the pressure that came from the board’s criticism. Cricketers try to find solace in the cricket board during bad times. BCB should have been more patient. If a player doesn’t do well, you can drop him after the tournament but as long as they are in the tournament, it is better not to talk about them,” Mortaza told Prothom Alo.

“The cricket board sent this team to the World Cup. You can’t change the squad if someone does badly. You have to show patience. If you don’t have that patience, you should have realised much before if this is your best team or not. When the coach, captain, selectors and board have all agreed this is the best team, you have to be patient with the team,” he added.

Before the World Cup started, Bangladesh looked in decent form, having beaten Zimbabwe, Australia and New Zealand in bilateral T20I series. Albeit they couldn’t qualify directly for the Super 12, the Tigers came into the World Cup as ICC’s No.6 ranked T20I team.

The Tigers were also faced with injury concerns after Shakib Al Hasan and Mohammad Saifuddin were ruled out. Rubel Hossain was roped in as a replacement, but he didn’t get to play a match.