If cricket is considered as the unofficial religion of Bangladesh, Mashrafe will definitely be regarded as the deity there. Current captain of the One Day and Twenty20 international Bangladesh team, the Narail Express is most loved cricket in the country’s history. He is not only the most successful captain for the national side, but also the only trophy-holder of all three previous BPL editions.
For the national side, Mashrafe regularly opens with bowl and always helps by providing early breakthroughs. Despite his carer being plagued by atrocious injuries and several surgeries on legs, knees and ankles, Mashrafe stands as one of the fastest bowlers for his country bowling usually in the mid-135s km/h. He is currently the highest wicket taker (216) for Bangladesh in ODI format. Very often turning out as an effective lower middle order batsman to rescue his team, most recently in the last asia cup match against Pakistan, Mashrafe has proved himself instrumental for the recent successes of his team. He also holds the highest 9th-wicket partnership record in both Tests and ODIs for Bangladesh.
However it is his captaincy which basically places him in the highest echelon of Bangladesh cricket. Under his leadership Bangladesh made it to the quarter-finals of World Cup 2015, had a post-world cup dream run to beat Pakistan, India and South Africa back-to-back in bilateral ODI series and then came out runner-up in the last Asia Cup which was held in T20 format for the first time.
His excellent leadership skills continued to spark in BPL as he is the title-holder of all three previous editions, first two times with the Dhaka franchise and last time with the Comilla Victorians. He will lead the Victorians this time too, definitely in search of another glory to his name as well as his team.