Bangladesh urges Mashrafe Mortaza to make T20 comeback

Bangladesh has failed to make any impact in Mortaza’s absence, most recently losing the T20 home series against Sri Lanka 2-0.

Mashrafe Mortaza announced his retirement from international T20s in February 2017, but continued to lead Bangladesh in one-day internationals. (File Photo)   -  AP

Bangladesh would welcome former captain Mashrafe Mortaza back into the national Twenty20 side if he decides to come out of retirement, cricket board president Nazmul Hasan said on Tuesday.

The 34-year-old fast bowler announced his retirement from international T20s in February 2017, but continued to lead Bangladesh in one-day internationals. Bangladesh has failed to make any impact in his absence, most recently losing the T20 home series against Sri Lanka 2-0.

Nazmul met the team's coaching director Khaled Mahmud and captain Shakib Al Hasan to discuss the defeat, and said afterwards that he had wanted Mashrafe to return for the Sri Lanka series.

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"We discussed... Mashrafe. But it entirely depends on him," Nazmul told reporters after the meeting. "Some people said if I tell him, then he would play, but I told him to play in this (Sri Lanka) series... I didn't force him. He said he wanted to play Test cricket which is why the discussion didn't progress. Apart from Mustafizur (Rahman), I think Mashrafe is the most dependable (bowler)," he added.

Bangladesh will play its next T20Is against India and hosts Sri Lanka in the Nidahas Trophy, scheduled for March 6-18 in Colombo.