Praising veteran Mashrafe Mortaza for his impressive international career, Bangladesh’s fast bowling coach Ottis Gibson believes that Mortaza’s international career is over now. Gibson now wants to build up the Bangladesh national cricket team for the next edition of the World Cup.
The 36-year-old Mashrafe Mortaza stepped down from the ODI captaincy after the home ODI series against Zimbabwe in last March. However, he wished to continue his international career.
But Ottis Gibson has totally different feeling as he believes that Mortaza’s presence doesn’t require in the present Bangladesh team while he is now focusing on building up a strong ODI side to compete in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, which India will host the tournament. Gibson is also confident that the Head Coach of this team, Russell Domingo, will support him in this thought.
According to ESPNcricinfo, Gibson said, “I think he (Mortaza) has had an outstanding international career. He has done himself and his country proud. With the next World Cup in 2023, any international coach will now start to build a team. I am quite sure that’s what Russell will be thinking.”
Gibson further elaborated how they are looking for Bangladesh’s pace-bowling future in the limited-overs format.
Gibson added, “So, he would want to see players like young Hasan Mahmud, (Mohammad) Saifuddin, Shafiul (Islam), and Ebadot (Hossain.) We haven’t seen Ebadot in white-ball cricket yet. There’s Taskin (Ahmed) and Khaled (Ahmed) gets fit again.
“We have Hasan and (Mehedi Hasan) Rana. So, there’s a lot of young cricketers in the country. I think if Russell is now trying to build a team for the future, then I don’t know what part Mashrafe will have to play in that. Perhaps now is his time, with all that’s going on in the world, to move on.”
Mashrafe Mortaza needs to find other ways to pass on that message: Ottis Gibson
Gibson believes that Mortaza can pass his knowledge and experience to the national team even without returning on the field. The fast bowling coach feels that Mortaza needs to find out other ways to continue inspiring the team.
Gibson said, “He (Mortaza) can find other ways to pass on his vast knowledge and experience to the young guys. I don’t think he has to be on the field to be able to pass on what he has learned over his career. He needs to find other ways to pass on that message.”
Under Mashrafe Mortaza’s captaincy, Bangladesh achieved many successes in ODI cricket. They reached the quarter-final in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, semi-final in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 and also won their first-ever multinational tournament in international cricket (2019 ODI tri-series in Ireland ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019).
After his international debut in November 2001, Mortaza has played 36 Tests, 220 ODIs and 54 T20Is.