Mashrafe Mortaza led Bangladesh to the semifinal of the Champions Trophy in England in June © Getty Images

Mashrafe Mortaza will remain Bangladesh’s ODI captain for as long as he wants, according to BCB president Nazmul Hassan. Hassan said that without a captaincy and bowling successor, they wouldn’t even think of a future without Mashrafe.

Despite Bangladesh reaching the Champions Trophy semifinal in June, there was speculation that the BCB could be looking to replace him as ODI captain, after he retired from T20Is in April. Mashrafe himself said recently that although he doesn’t pay too much attention to such criticism, the inference has an effect on his mentality.

“Mashrafe is not just a player but also our captain,” Hassan said. “It is nearly impossible to find a captain like him in Bangladesh. He is also performing very well as a pace bowler, better than most of them.

“Look, it is natural to think about replacing cricketers like Shakib and Mushfiqur, but the situation that is being created somehow shows that we are trying to remove Mashrafe today. It is uncomfortable for him and us too. I am saying this clearly: there is no question of dropping him as long as he is willing to play.”

“This is not the time for such questions. We have a lot of cricket ahead of us. Imagine what is going through him, especially at a time when we haven’t even found an alternative. Even I feel uncomfortable thinking about his situation: always wondering whether he is going to be in the team or not.”

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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