Now is the time for Mortaza to retire: Gibson

Gibson said Mortaza needs to find a new role to contribute to Bangladesh cricket and doesn’t see him in coach Russell Domingo’s plans for 2023 World Cup.

Mashrafe Mortaza

Mashrafe Mortaza during a training session.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Bangladesh bowling coach Ottis Gibson doesn’t see a role for Mashrafe Mortaza in the 2023 ODI World Cup and said now is the time for the former skipper to bid adieu to international cricket.

The 36-year-old Mortaza, who claimed just one wicket in eight matches in last year’s World Cup, has in the recent past often faced questions on his retirement, but the experienced seamer still hasn’t divulged his plans.

He had given up the ODI captaincy during Bangladesh’s last home series against Zimbabwe in February this year.

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Gibson said Mortaza needs to find a new role to contribute to Bangladesh cricket and doesn’t see him in head coach Russell Domingo’s plans for the 2023 World Cup, scheduled to be held in India.

“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,” Gibson told Bengali daily Prothom Alo.

Cricket activities around the world stand suspended currently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has so far claimed over 31 lakh lives globally.

“He 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.”

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Gibson said Domingo will have to give the youngsters more opportunities in order to build a team for the next World Cup.

“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,” said the 51-year-old, who had assumed responsibility as the team’s bowling coach in January.

“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.”

Gibson, however, said that fast bowlers need more opportunities in the domestic set up if Bangladesh was to taste success away from home.

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“The bowlers genuinely have a lot of skill but they lack in experience. They only get one spell in domestic cricket. Even if they pick two fast bowlers, the captain generally tends to go to the spinners if there’s a crisis. The fast bowlers never really get to bowl in pressure situations,” he said.

“It is a very different story when we go abroad. We are relying on the fast bowlers to do the job away from home but they lack in experience in closing out games, even back home in domestic cricket. We must look at the way we play domestic cricket.”

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