Shakib Al Hasan is likely to become Bangladesh’s new Twenty20 captain after Mashrafe Mortaza’s shock retirement.
Mashrafe took 2-32 as Bangladesh lost to Sri Lanka by six wickets in the first of two T20s on Monday, but the final game of the series will be his last in the shortest format.
Shakib has emerged as a star in recent years for Bangladesh. The all-rounder has scored 3640 runs and taken 262 wickets in 232 career T20s.
Mashrafe will remain as captain of Bangladesh’s ODI side, having highlighted a need for T20Is to be used to develop young talent.
“I had a meeting with Mashrafe, Tamim [Iqbal], Mushfiqur [Rahim] and Shakib [on Monday],” BCB president Nazmul Hasan told reporters.
“I told them that they had such a contribution to the nation’s cricket that barring a disciplinary issue no one, not me, not anyone could drop them. They would have to make their own exit plans.
“Mashrafe had told us for some time that this series would be his last as a captain, but we didn’t know he was going to retire. That is where he left it that night, and it was up to him when he would announce it; we thought he would do it before the second match. I don’t know why he retired; according to the discussions we had we knew that he would be in the squad.
“If he is fit then who can omit him? If he doesn’t want to play then that’s a different issue, but there is no scope for us to omit him.
“We were thinking about the next T20 World Cup in 2020, and by that time it was unlikely that Mashrafe would be fit to play, so there would have been a new captain down the line anyway.
“As far as the next captain is concerned, there are four candidates. Tamim, Mushfiqur, Mahmudullah and Shakib. Mahmudullah is yet to fully regain his rhythm, but among them Shakib is the player who is doing best and has also matured very much in recent times. Shakib is the likeliest candidate.”