There have been a lot of talks about the exclusion of former ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza from the upcoming Windies series. Rumours were flying in the air. Mashrafe had his focus clear and kept himself available. But, the preliminary squad that the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced today, saw Mashrafe being dropped. Rumours became true.
In his 20 years of playing for Bangladesh, Mashrafe has been dropped for injuries most of the times. This is the first time that he has been dropped despite being fit and available for selection. The selectors, Minhajul Abedin Nannu and Habibul Bashar naturally faced a lot of questions regarding his exclusion from the 24-men preliminary ODI squad on Monday.
Minhajul Abedin Nannu told the media that Mashrafe has been excluded mainly because their focus is solely on the upcoming cricket world cup and they are trying to build a team for that. "We discussed with team management for what they want. We even discussed with Mashrafe before making this decision," Nannu said.
The chief selector said that they wanted to make way for the newcomers. According to him, the team management want a fresh start for the upcoming 2023 cricket world cup and they want to give the youngsters enough chance and time for that.
"We're trying to start fresh in 2021. We've already fallen behind in the last ten months. There is no looking back now," Nannu added.
Nannu admitted it was a tough decision to exclude the senior campaigner from the preliminary squad. But Nannu sees this as an opportunity for the newcomers who will be replacing Mashrafe in the squad.
" It was really a tough decision (to drop Mashrafe). But we have to accept reality and move forward. We all have made this decision together. We have our focus set on the 2023 World cup and we had to drop him for that. At the same time, I think it's a great opportunity for anyone who will play in his place."
Habibul Bashar on the other hand, said the same thing. He said the decision was made to give the youngsters more chance and time to settle in the squad and showcase their performance in absence of someone like Mashrafe. "We have to look and prepare ourselves for the future," Bashar said.
"Mashrafe has served the country for past 20 years. We all know what he has done for the team. But now is the time to look forward," Bashar concluded.