Political aspirations leave Mashrafe Mortaza’s participation versus West Indies in doubt
Bangladesh's ODI captain Mashrafe Mortaza will stand for elections in December. @AFP

Mashrafe Mortaza’s foray into politics next month has thrown his participation in the ODI leg of the Bangladesh’s home series against West Indies in doubt, with the country’s general elections starting

As per a report in the Dhaka-based The Daily Star, the last date for a political candidate to submit their candidacy is November 28, with the the general elections taking place on December 2. The last date for candidates to remove themselves is December 9, which is a day after the first ODI between Bangladesh and West Indies.

It was announced this week that Mortaza, the most-capped Bangladesh cricketer in ODIs, will stand in next month’s election for the Awami League. The current ODI captain and country’s leading wicket-taker in the format has been endorsed by the ruling party’s leader and Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as she seeks a third consecutive term in office on December 30.

There is expected to be no opposition from the Bangladesh Cricket Board, but the president Nazmul Hassan was quoted by The Daily Star as saying that Mortaza could miss the ODIs.

“It’s difficult. He will definitely play in the World Cup. There is a date for submitting the form and I don’t know for sure when he will submit it and not aware of his programs,” said Hassan. “I am supposed to meet with him today and hopefully I will know the details today. If there is an opportunity then definitely he will play. Even if has the opportunity to spare one day, then he will. Playing should be his priority.”

In 197 ODIs dating back to his debut in 2001, Mortaza has claimed 252 wickets to occupy top spot in Bangladesh’s all-time bowling table. The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup in England looms as his last assignment for Bangladesh.