Bangladesh cricket has seen a lot of cricketers retiring from the international circuit. But not a single one has created as many ripples as Mashrafe Bin Mortaza's decision to quit the T20I formats of the game after the on-going two-match series against Sri Lanka.
The 34-year-old made the announcement after the toss at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo yesterday. And the brief spell of rain after his announcement perhaps came as tears of millions of fans of the braveheart from Narail.
However, the inspirational leader will continue to lead Bangladesh in one-day internationals -- a format in which the Tigers have made giant strides over the last three years under his stewardship.
Mashrafe has privately said that he never enjoyed the T20 format of the game. He was always eager to excel in one-days and his dream has been to don the white shirt and play Test again.
It is understood that Mashrafe -- whose pace has gone with age and with both his knees operated on five times that made it impossible for him to stay tuned for three hours-- would a be case of a struggler even if he tries to prove a point in the domestic first-class competition.
There was a strong rumor that Mashrafe would retire from the shortest format of the game during the World T20 in India last year. But it was stalled for the time being, with a wise thinking that Bangladesh would be deprived of an inspiration in his absence.
However, Mashrafe could not think of a better time to call it quits so that he can solely focus on one-day cricket, possibly till the next World Cup in 2019.