Mashrafe to bid adieu to T20 internationals after Lanka series

Indo Asian News Service

Colombo, April 4 (IANS) Bangladesh limited-overs captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza on Tuesday announced his retirement from Twenty20 International cricket after the ongoing two-match series against Sri Lanka.

The strapping 33-year-old pacer, who plays wearing braces to protect his creaking knee, made the announcement during the post-toss interview at the first T20 encounter at the R. Premadasa Stadium here, reports

"This is going to be my last T20 series for Bangladesh," Mashrafe said.

On his official Facebook page, Mashrafe said the reason behind the decision was to make way for the youngsters in the team.

"It has been a great honour for me to represent Bangladesh in T20I for more than 10 years. I believe that this team is currently a balanced one and there are some promising young stars," Mashrafe wrote.

"This is high time for me to say good-bye to T20 format so that many youngsters can get the opportunity to showcase their talent and thus Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) can nurture them for the future. Let me congratulate the new captain in advance and I am sure the best is yet to come," he added.

Mashrafe was the best player on his T20 debut in 2006. Since then, he has played in 53 of Bangladesh's 66 games and grabbed 39 wickets, the third highest for the Tigers in the format.

He has led Bangladesh in 27 matches, including Tuesday's game, which is the highest for the team, and won nine of them.