Mashrafee replaces Sakib as captain

June 29, 2010

Paceman Mashrafee bin Murtaza has returned as the captain of the Bangladesh cricket team, replacing Sakib al Hasan, for next month’s tour of England, Scotland and Ireland, the Bangladesh Cricket Board said on Monday.
‘Sakib was relieved of the responsibility as we felt he needs some break. He will continue as a player and will act also as a vice-captain on the tour,’ said Jalal Yunus, the spokesman of the BCB.
Mashrafee was first appointed as Bangladesh captain in July 2009 for a tour of West Indies but his captaincy lasted for only two-and-a-half days after he fell awkwardly while bowling in the first Test in Kingstown.
Sakib, the then vice-captain, has been leading Bangladesh in his absence since then.
Mashrafee, who underwent surgery on both knees in Australia, returned to competitive cricket in February-March and was part of Bangladesh squad in the ICC World Twenty20 in West Indies and in the recently concluded Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.
But Sakib continued to lead the side despite the presence of Mashrafee as the Board did not want to burden him with the captaincy. Mashrafee had soured his relationship with Sakib after he was controversially left out of the side before a one-day match against England at home in March.
Angered by the decision, Mashrafee left the team hotel without informing the team management. When he wanted to return to the team Sakib opposed prompting Mashrafee to withdraw himself from the series voluntarily. There was no further incident, however, between them.
The BCB officials said they decided to give the captaincy back to Mashrafee solely on cricketing ground. Sakib has requested for a break and expressed his wish to play the England ODIs only.
He will join the county side Worcestershire after the three ODIs against England and is unlikely to tour Ireland and Scotland. The BCB officials spoke to both Sakib and Mashrafee on Sunday before a meeting of the technical evaluation committee decided to change the captaincy.
Sakib and Mashrafee were not immediately available for comments.
Bangladesh, who leave home early one Wednesday, start their tour campaign with a warm-up match against Sussex on July 3 before playing three ODIs against England and further ODIs against Ireland in Belfast.
They will end the tour with two ODIs against Scotland and the Netherlands respectively on July 19 and 20 at Glasgow.

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