Ready to face the music

June 24, 2009

Newly appointed Bangladesh captain Mashrafee bin Murtaza said he is ready to do the hard job as a senior cricketer and face the music on a difficult time despite not having enough experience in the position.
‘Definitely it is a great feeling to be the captain of the national side. I agree that this is a difficult time but I am very optimistic that things will turn for the better,’ Mashrafee said at a news conference after his appointment was confirmed.
‘As a senior player of the side you have to be ready to take up the responsibilities. It is true that the coach and the captain have to face the music most of the times when the team underperforms. Who ever gets the job has to do it and I accept that,’ he said.
Mashrafee is the 15th captain of Bangladesh after Shamim Kabir, Roqibul Hasan, Shafiqul Haque, Gazi Ashraf Hossain, Minhajul Abedin, Faruque Ahmed, Akram Khan, Aminul Islam, Naimur Rahman, Khaled Mashud, Khaled Mahmud, Habibul Bashar, Rajin Saleh and Mohammad Ashraful.
One notable exception is that all in the list are batsman, wicketkeeper or an all-rounder. But never in the history of Bangladesh it has a front-line bowler captaining the national side.
‘Maybe it’s a different thing, a fast bowler captaining the side in Bangladesh cricket. But I have captained Abahani (his club side in the Dhaka Premier Division) this season and am not thinking of the role any different,’ he said.
‘I never had any idols as captain. But I will approach it based on my eight-year experience of international cricket. When it will come to bowling changes I will try to use those who I think would do the job in a certain situation because a bowler will not click every time,’ added the 26-year old pacer.
Mashrafee hailed his predecessor Mohammad Ashraful and said he will be a key batsman under his set-up. The new skipper also had no grudge about his captaincy in the last two years.
‘We have had some very good games under Ashraful’s captaincy. In certain situations he had taken some fine decisions. You can always take the good things and I will do that also. He always backed himself to do something whether it was with the bat or ball,’ he said.
‘He is a special player. For example, Sachin Tendulkar is someone the opposition fear whether he is scoring or not. Ashraful is something similar for Bangladesh. He has won us games which we might not have won if Ashraful wasn’t there,’ said Mashrafee.
‘I will show the same faith in him which he had on me as a captain. He would make me bowl extra overs and bring me on whenever he felt the team needed something. He had backed me all the way,’ he said.
The injury-prone pacer also has full confidence in his deputy Sakib al Hasan.
‘A player can get injured any time but if that happens and Sakib has to take over then I’m sure he’ll do a fine job. He is matured, positive and can motivate the team. And he is a top cricketer,’ he said.
Talking about his immediate step, Mashrafee said it would be changing the mentality of the team, which is lacking confidence.
‘We are a capable team but our confidence level is not up there all the time. We brought pressure on ourselves by not scoring enough runs against Ireland in the World T20. We were not confident in our ability and we lost,’ he said.
Vice-captain Sakib al Hasan said his main focus will be to do well as a cricketer and only it will be vice-captaincy.
‘We have a leadership group of four or five players and I am one of them. So I don’t think the role will be much difficult for me to perform,’ he said.

Courtesy of NewAgebd

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