Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has expressed that his biggest regret in the World Cup was not being able to take Bangladesh to the semi-finals, and do justice to Shakib Al Hasan’s stellar performances.
Shakib finished the group stage with 606 runs and 11 wickets, becoming only the third person to score 600-plus runs in a World Cup after India’s Sachin Tendulkar and Australia’s Matthew Hayden.
“I should talk about Shakib; he has been absolutely beautiful. Batted at three, did what he could do. I feel very bad for Shakib,” Mashrafe said at the post-match press conference.
“The tournament he had, he deserved to be in the semifinal. Really feel sorry for him. I think it was one of the best performances not just in this World Cup, but in all editions. It is disappointing that a player who played like that is not in the semifinals,” Mashrafe added.
Mashrafe, who had confirmed that it would be his last World Cup also said that he would think about his future plans and how long he would play cricket after coming back to Bangladesh and then having a “rethink”.
Speculation was ripe that the 35-year-old might announce his retirement from ODI cricket after the match, especially since he managed to take just one wicket all tournament and played with a possible grade 2 hamstring tear.
Mashrafe also admitted that fielding was the weakness for his team and a few dropped catches of top order batsmen that cost them a place in the top four.
“In some matches, fielding really cost us - ground fielding especially. It helps the bowlers when fielders back you up,” Mashrafe said.
There were moments in games, especially against Australia and England, where the fielding was not up to the mark and it was most evident when a big partnership was forming and Mashrafe admitted that.
“Fielding, it has been a concern all of my career. When there is a partnership, we get down. This is the part that a player can change. I think we really need to improve fielding,” he explained.
“When we play in the next World Cup, I am sure if there are new players who come in, the team will go forward even more,” Mashrafe said.
Although Mashrafe wouldn’t be with the team for the next World Cup, he did expect the other senior players to be around and help guide the team to better results in the next tournament.
“I wish and pray that Shakib, Tamim (Iqbal), Mushfiqur Rahim and (Mahmudullah) Riyad will be alive and well for the next World Cup so that they can guide the newer players. Since it is in India, I of course cannot say that we will win, but Bangladesh will have a chance,” Mashrafe concluded.