Mashrafe: Bangladesh’s most successful bowler in last three years
Bangladesh ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza will not participate in the upcoming ODI series against West Indies. Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hasan Papon informed the news on Thursday (November 16).
Mashrafe’s non-participation in a key series just before the next World Cup in itself is a shocker. But what is even more shocking is the BCB boss’s statement that Mashrafe’s role in the team is just as the captain!
“He (Mashrafe) plays in our team as the captain,” was what Papon said, which clearly meant he wanted to say Mashrafe is not qualified simply as a player to be in the current Bangladesh limited-overs set-up. But in reality, as proved by the numbers, Mashrafe is Bangladesh’s leading ODI wicket-taker in last three year.
Since November 2015, Mashrafe has taken 48 wickets playing 39 ODIs, which puts him at the very top of the list. Mustafizur Rahman is in the second position, picking up 42 wickets in 28 matches. Shakib Al Hasan is also behind, having 38 wickets in 35 matches.
There is no doubt Mashrafe has a bigger role as the captain of the side. But for that, one can not take anything away from the ‘player’ Mashrafe, who has also been leading his side from the front. Even if Mashrafe was not the skipper, he had the ability to retain his position in the team as any other normal player.
There is a misconception within many that Mashrafe is in the team just because Bangladesh currently have no other better option to make captain. It’s partially true, in a sense that Mashrafe is the best option to make captain. But it is also true that Bangladesh have many other leadership options, and if Mashrafe really was nothing more than a leader, then he would not be in the side even after having seven surgeries on his knee.
So it is now high time we admitted Mashrafe is not just a great leader, he is still the most successful (if not the best) bowler of the ODI side as well.