World Cup 2019: Feel sorry for Shakib, says Bangladesh skipper Mortaza

The Bangladesh captain felt sorry for Shakib-Al Hasan, who had a terrific outing with 606 runs and 11 wickets.

Mashrafe Mortaza gestures during Bangladesh's group stage match against Pakistan.   -  AFP

“What’s your plan for the future?” Mashrafe Mortaza winked and then wittily replied: “My future plan is, obviously, going home from here and and then I’ll rethink.”

For the last few weeks, there has been talks about him hanging up the boots. But after bowing out of the World Cup, the Bangladesh captain smartly dodged the question, keeping the suspense alive.

Despite some spirited show in the middle, Bangladesh crashed out of the World Cup, finishing seventh. The Bangladesh captain, however, felt sorry for Shakib-Al Hasan, who had a terrific outing with 606 runs and 11 wickets.

“Shakib has been absolutely beautiful. He batted at number three. He had done what he could do. Really feel sorry for him. The way he played, this team could have been in a different zone than where we are standing right now,” Mashrafe said.

“I think he’s one of the best performances of all time that has been done in World Cup. Still couldn't make semis or the zone that we'd love to. But, again, I think that Shakib knew what his role was and what his job was going forward. Hopefully, boys will step up next time with him,” he said.

Mortaza, however, was not happy with the way the bowlers fared. “Bowling has not been up to the mark, starting from me and obviously others, especially first 10 and 15, or maybe 20 overs, which is we need to pick wickets in that sort of wicket for sure.”

Poor fielding has also hurt the team, and the captain admitted it. “A few catches were dropped obviously, we can say that… But I hope that we'll look at it in future, and we'll come back very strongly in those areas where we haven't done very good.”

While this was his last World Cup outing, Mashrafe hoped that the senior players like Shakib, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim remain fit for the next World Cup, four years later.

“I pray for their health and hope they remain injury-free, so that they can bring the team to its next World Cup and hopefully better the show,” the captain said.