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Dhaka, Wednesday 12 Dec, 2018
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My aim is to play until World Cup: Mashrafe

Sports Desk Daily-Bangladesh.com
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A month ago, it appeared like Mashrafe Mortaza was already preparing for life beyond cricket as he announced his decision to enter politics this month. Ahead of the limited-overs series against Windies, however, Mortaza has rubbished any such suspicion regarding his immediate future by announcing that he intends to stay on until the 2019 World Cup, to be played next June.

Mortaza has already walked away from T20I format in April 2017, and has now hinted at calling time on his Test career as well in order to extend his time in the 50-over format. Mortaza, it must be said, hasn't featured in whites since July 2009.

"My aim is to play until the World Cup. It is a matter of eight months and I will try to continue the way I am continuing. My personal goal was to play the World Cup and whether [a] review, will be required only time can say," Mortaza said.

The ODI captain revealed that following the 2017 Champions Trophy in England - where Bangladesh lost to India in the semifinal - he debated whether to keep going. He also said that he made up his mind to go on until the World Cup but left the door ajar to review on the way to the showpiece event if he felt he wasn't up to the mark and needed to call time on his career.

"Firstly my mind was set to play until the World Cup. During the Champions Trophy, I felt I don't know whether I can continue after the tournament. Still, I moved forward as my fitness and performance were backing me. So I am saying my mind is set-up to play until the World Cup and though there is a chance to have a review, if I am not in that stage I will have to quit."

Mortaza also opined that he'd be open to carrying on beyond the ICC tournament as well if there's room for it. "If I am able to play after World Cup, then I will try to continue but anything can happen even before that," Mortaza said.

On what seemed like a day of revelations for the 35-year-old, he said that his family members weren't sure if he could play on after the 2011 World Cup that happened seven years ago.

"50 percent of the people [media] present here believed that my career is over after the 2011 World Cup but by the grace of Allah, I carried it further for another seven years. All my family members were apprehensive whether I can carry it or not. Now my career is coming to an end. "

The three ODIs against Windies will be played on December 9, 11 and 14.

Daily Bangladesh/Sohug

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