Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza announced his retirement from T20I cricket on Tuesday. Mortaza made the announcement ahead of Bangladesh’s first match against Sri Lanka at Colombo. He said that the two match series will be the last time that he will play for Bangladesh in the shortest format of the game.
There were rumours that Mortaza might make the announcement sooner than later. “This is going to be my last T20 series for Bangladesh,” he said during the toss, “I would like to thank BCB, my family and friends, team-mates and coaching staff. I would also like to thank my fans who really supported me in the last 15-16 years.”
Mortaza’s official Facebook page then carried a statement from the player. “It has been a great honor for me to represent Bangladesh in T20I for more than 10 years,” he said in the statement, “I believe that this team is currently a balanced one & there are some promising young stars. I am very much grateful to Bangladesh cricket board & high officials for keeping the trust on me to lead this fantastic team. I am also immensely grateful to my loving fans, family, and friends to support me all the time.”
Mashrafe has led Bangladesh in the most number of T20Is, winning nine of those 26 matches. He played 52 games before Tuesday’s match, having taken 39 wickets at 37.56. He had taken one four-wicket haul in the format, against Ireland in Belfast in 2012. He was also a handy bat down the order, having struck 23 sixes in 37 innings.