Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan has told the media to not make a big deal out of Mashrafe bin Mortaza's reaction in the pre-match press-conference on Saturday.
Mashrafe asked in reply to a question about his recent poor performances with the ball: "Self-respect and to be ashamed of? Do I steal on the field? Am I a thief? I cannot mix up shame or self-respect with the game. Are the people who are stealing ashamed of their deeds? Only if I don't pick up wickets I have to be ashamed? Am I a thief? I might not pick up wickets, the media will criticize me, the fans will, why would I need to be ashamed? Am I not playing for Bangladesh? Or am I playing for another country that I have to be ashamed? If I perform poorly, I will be dropped, easy as that," the 36-year old said.
The BCB president explained: "Seeing the press-conference, it felt like you (the reporters) were poking him too much. In a time when you should be beside him, you are instead hurting him. We should not be discussing about these things. He has explained what he wants."
Leading up to the series against Zimbabwe the Hassan had said that this would be Mashrafe's last series as captain of the one-day international (ODI) team and Mashrafe was asked about this matter in the press-conference on Saturday as well.
But the BCB chief did not find any logic as to why these questions would be asked to Mashrafe: "The board will decide who the next captain will be. They will choose who is best suited for this task. Mashrafe and his retirement is his decision and that doesn't need any further discussion."
Hassan also reiterated that there was no alternative to Mashrafe while also adding that Mashrafe was given more chances to prove himself, even when he hasn't been in form with the ball, which other players haven't gotten.
"Just like there is no alternative to the all-round abilities of Shakib Al hasan, Mashrafe also doesn't have any alternatives. We have to acknowledge Mashrafe's contributions for the national team. We have always tried to give Mashrafe a lot of opportunities but we didn't do that for other players. When Mushfiqur Rahim was replaced as ODI skipper we didn't ask anyone anything. But for Mashrafe, we have made an exception," Hassan concluded.