Mashrafe Mortaza named new Bangladesh captain

June 23rd, 2009 - 6:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, June 23 (IANS) Bangladesh Tuesday named fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza as captain of the national team, replacing Mohammad Ashraful, for the cricket tours of West Indies and Zimbabwe.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) said the move was aimed at relieving the burden on Ashraful and allow him to focus on his batting.

Ashraful took over the captaincy from Habibul Bashar in June 2007.

Under Ashraful’s captaincy, Bangladesh won only eight games in 38 ODIs, and failed to win a Test, losing 12 out of 13. His performance with the bat suffered in both forms of the game as captain.

“We want him (Ashraful) to play his natural game. He has the potential,” BCB chief selector Rafiqul Alam said.

He also said that change was not related to Bangladesh’s poor performance in the recently concluded Twenty20 World Cup.

Bangladesh could not move beyond the preliminary stage of the Twenty20 World Cup losing to India and Ireland in their first round matches.

BCB’s Media and Communications Committee Chairman Mohammed Jalal Yunus thanked Ashraful for his contribution as skipper.

“We all know his quality and what he is capable of as a batsman and we are confident that without the burden of captaincy his batting would flourish and he would contribute more to the team.”

All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has been named vice captain.

Bangladesh will play two Tests, three ODIs and a Twenty20 in West Indies starting July 3.

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