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My focus now on cricket, not politics, says Mashrafe
Mashrafe Bin Mortaza

My focus now on cricket, not politics, says Mashrafe

Dhaka – Bangladesh one-day captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza talking for the first time to media after joining politics said on Tuesday he is focused on his game instead of paying all attention to politics.The Bangladesh one-day captain has got nomination to contest in the December 30 national elections from the ruling Bangladesh Awami League.

Before the election he, however, will play the three-match one-day series against the visiting West Indies.The series begins on Dec 9 at MirpurSher-e-Bangla National Stadium with a day-night match.

“I’m completely focused on my game and my practice. I’ll concentrate on politics after 14 December,” Mashrafe said. The upcoming one-day series could be the last home series for the most prolific cricketer that Bangladesh has ever produced. Right after this series, the Tigers will be engaged in their World Cup preparation that mostly will take place abroad. “My mind set-up is to the World Cup (for continuing to play). So, I can review my decision after the World Cup whether I continue to play or not. If I can’t maintain my fitness to play at the highest level of the game, I’ll quit. Anything can happen at any time,” Masrhafe added.

“The upcoming series is like any other cricket competition to me. I don’t care much about the so-called last or the first series.” As regards to the competition in the upcoming series against the Windies, Masrhafe further said, “West Indies is a better team in limited-overs cricket. I’m expecting a great series. The team is in a better state of mind after winning the Test series. It’ll be fabulous if we can translate Test performance into one-day as well.”

He said his target is to continue his sports carrier until the next World Cup which will be held after seven or eight months.

“I think it (politics) is a great opportunity for me to work for people’s welfare”, he said.

“I’m neither Sachin Tendulkar nor Glenn Donald McGrath, whom people will remember forever. I have played in my own way. In my struggling life I played as much as I could. But I always enjoy working for people…you can say it’s my childhood desire. The opportunity the Prime Minister has given to me will enable me to do something for country”, he said.
He will lead a BCB XI on Thursday against the visitors in the one-off practice match to be held at BKSP ground in Savar. Mashrafe played an international match for the last time in the one-day series against Zimbabwe. Since then, he was busy with political activities. The Bangladesh captain started his individual training for the one-day series last week.UNB