Mashrafe Mortaza has been one of the most influential figures in the history of Bangladesh cricket. Under his captaincy, Bangladesh became a different team altogether, especially in the ODI format. He led Bangladesh to 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup quarterfinal and 2017 ICC Champions Trophy semifinal and finished with a remarkable 50 ODI wins as captain.
His contribution as a bowler is less talked about but Mashrafe has been the spearhead of Bangladesh's pace bowling attack. He is the highest wicket-taker in ODIs among active cricketers with 270 scalps. He has performed decently as a fast bowler in the last few years except in the 2019 World Cup where he was in absolutely no rhythm at all.
Mashrafe, whose career has been obstructed with numerous injuries, played his last Test match in 2009. He said goodbye to T20 Internationals in 2017 but decided to continue playing ODIs. He stepped down from ODI captaincy in March last year. Since then, there has been a lot of speculation regarding his selection. Now that he has not been named in the 24-member preliminary squad for West Indies series, there is almost no chance for him to come back into the side.
Keeping in mind the next World Cup in 2023, the selectors haven't considered him. Rather, they are looking to blood some youngsters. But his absence will weaken the team, said former skipper and chairman of BCB's cricket operations Akram Khan.
"Mashrafe is undoubtedly a great player. He is one of the finest captains as well. The absence of a player of his stature will weaken the team. He will be missed, especially for his experience," Akram stated.
Mashrafe had never been dropped from the team because of lack of form before this but the selectors believe that it is the right time to move on from him.