Bangladesh sack Shakib, appoint Mortaza as captain

Dhaka: Bangladesh`s cricket chiefs on Monday removed Shakib Al Hasan as captain and replaced him with Mashrafe Mortaza for the upcoming tour of England, Ireland and Scotland.

Shakib was dumped just a day after being appointed skipper and will instead serve as Mortaza`s deputy on the tour, Bangladesh Cricket Board official Enayat Hossain Siraj told an agency.

Mortaza had been appointed captain for the tour of the West Indies, but suffered a knee injury and was replaced by Shakib, who went on to lead the side to victory in both the Test and one-day series against the depleted rivals.

"Mashrafe was our captain during the West Indies series. But then he suffered injuries. So we are now bringing him back to his former position," Siraj said.

The official claimed that Shakib had voluntarily stepped down to concentrate on his cricket.

But assistant coach Khaled Mahmud, a former Bangladesh captain, admitted he was surprised by the decision to change captains a fews days before the team was due to depart for England.

"Before Shakib became captain, the selectors always said that if Mashrafe could get fit, he might be able to take the job again," Mahmud told a website.

"I`m not sure if it`s the right or wrong move, but it`s been a tough time for Shakib, whose recent performances, particularly with the bat, have not been up to standard.

"It`s important for Bangladesh that he performs well, and perhaps the pressure of the captaincy is too much. He`s still young, while Mashrafe is more mature."

Under Shakib, Bangladesh lost a home Test series against India and were beaten both at home and away by England. They also fared poorly in the recent Asia Cup in Sri Lanka where they lost all three matches.

Bangladesh are due to play three one-day internationals against England and two each against Ireland and Scotland onthe tour, which starts on July 3.



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