Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza briefs media at the BCB Office in Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur yesterday. Photo: BP

Talha Kamal
Bangladesh ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza said that his political career will not cause any hampers in his cricketing career with Bangladesh team. Mashrafe will contest in the eleventh parliamentary elections for Awami League from his birthplace Narail-2. There has been constant criticism in social and news media about his decision to contest polls while playing cricket for his country.
Mashrafe arranged a press conference on Tuesday to answer all the questions related to election and said that he did not want any further questions on politics during the series against Windies, which starts from December 9.
“I don’t think it will hamper my cricket at all. At this moment I am not involved with the proceedings there (election and campaigning) and my focus is totally on practice. After 14th I will concentrate on those and up till then I want to concentrate fully on cricket. Before the matches, I wanted to talk with you so that during the series there is no more politics related questions” said Mashrafe to the reporters at BCB office in Shere Bangla National Stadium yesterday.
Before facing media the Narail Express, posted details on his official page about contesting polls for Awami League. Yesterday was the first time he discussed about the topic openly with media. Meanwhile, the 2019 World Cup is now just months away from getting underway and the ODI captain of Bangladesh taking part in the election during such time has caused chaos among the Bangladesh fans. “My first target is to play at the World Cup. There is still time as the tournament will start after 8 months. I will try to play these eight months with my full potential. After that I have a chance to review my situation. If I am not in a good condition then I will have to quit,” said Mashrafe.
Then a reporter asked Mashrafe, before taking part in polls you were the Mashrafe of whole country, but now you are contesting polls for a political party, half of the people or at least 30 to 40 percent of the people might go against you. They might not be able to support you anymore. How do you see this?
“The first reason behind coming to politics is because I want to do something for my Narail people. I will most probably play 7-8 months more, which means I won’t be here after the World Cup. I am not Sachin Tendulkar or Glenn McGrath that the cricket world will remember me. I want to do something according to my ability and I want to try hard and soul for it,” replied Mashrafe.
Mashrafe also said he sees this as a big opportunity as he will be able to help the people of Narail-2 if he ends up winning. “My career is nearing an end. An opportunity came knocking at the door to be able to do something for my people and Awami League chairperson Sheikh Hasina gave me that opportunity. This is a very big opportunity for me and if I win, I will try to develop my city,” he added.