Bangladesh’s captain fantastic Mashrafe Bin Mortaza will be making his 50th appearance as an ODI captain when he comes out at the toss in the third ODI against South Africa in East London on Sunday. [নিউজটি বাংলায় পড়ুনঃ মাইলফলকের সামনে মাশরাফি]
Only two other Bangladeshis have captained in 50 or more ODIs, Habibul Bashar (69) and current vice-captain Shakib Al Hasan (50). There are 53 players who have led in 50 or more ODIs till date.
Mashrafe was first appointed as captain in 2009. But he was injured during the first Test against West Indies which pulled him out of the field. That was also his first and only match as captain in Tests.
The inspirational leader from Narail made his captaincy debut in ODIs in 2010, a year after the appointment. He earned a famous victory as captain against England in Bristol. However, there was another stoppage in his journey. He sustained an injury against New Zealand in the first ODI in Dhaka. He scored 15 runs with the bat in that game and bowled only one over for 7 runs.
Mashrafe was out of the field again. Shakib led Bangladesh in his absence. Later, Mushfiqur Rahim captainedd till 2014 West Indies tour. When Mushfiqur was sacked, the Narail Express was named captain once again.
There was no stopping then as he claimed some famous moments in Bangladesh’s one-day history including qualifying for World Cup quarter-finals, series victories against Pakistan, India and South Afrca and reaching Champions Trophy semi-finals. He took Bangladesh from number nine to number six in ODI rankings, currently ranked seventh.
Mashrafe has won 27 matches in 49 ODIs as captain and lost 20 of them. His win percentage of 57.44 is all-time best of Bangladesh.
Bangladesh are 0-2 down in three-match ODI series against South Africa. Tigers will look to earn a victory in the last ODI to gain some confidence and make Mash’s landmark memorable.
-Ruffin, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com