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Captain Mashrafe Mortaza opts out of Bangladesh contract


New Delhi:

Dhaka, Jan 14: Mashrafe Mortaza, Bangladesh captain in ODIs, has given up national team central contract for the country, thus providing fuel to speculations around his retirement.

"Till yesterday, I was a centrally contracted cricketer with the cricket board but not anymore," ESPNcricinfo Mashrafe said in a press conference on Monday.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan told reporters that Mashrafe did not wish to continue as a contracted player. "We have accepted his proposal," he said. Hassan also said that they have offered Mashrafe a massive going away party, "the likes of which has never happened and never will".

However, Mashrafe has insisted that he would like to keep playing as long as he is enjoying the game, and not retiring just because the BCB president has said that they would throw a big party.

"I always believe the BCB is the cricketers' guardian. I never took pride in going against them. I thank the BCB for considering me to give me a proper send-off, but I don't have much interest in it.

The 36-year-old will now lose a guaranteed monthly wage of at least $5,000 as well as lucrative sponsorship deals.

The star all-rounder also welcomed the BCB's decision to increase Test match fees, saying it might change the scenario of Test cricket in the country.

Mortaza has represented Bangladesh in 36 Tests, 217 ODIs and 54 T20Is.