Bangladesh ODI skipper Mashrafe Mortaza to contest elections in hometown district Narail

Waseem Ahmed 19:44 12/11/2018
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Mortaza (r) will run for elections next month.

In a rare instance of an active cricketer running for public office, Bangladesh ODI skipper Mashrafe Mortaza is set to contest in the country’s general elections set to be held in December.

The 35-year-old will contest the elections on behalf of the ruling party Awami League and a picture of him alongside that of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was splashed across the front pages of multiple Bangladesh newspapers on Monday.

Hasina is seeking a third consecutive term in office when the country goes to elections on December 23. A spokesman from her party confirmed that Mortaza will be entering the election fray soon from his hometown district of Narail.

“He plans to contest from Narail,” Awami League spokesman Mahbubul Alam Hanif was quoted as saying by AFP.

On Sunday, the Dhaka Tribune reported that Mortaza met Hasina at her official residence to seek her blessings before collecting the nomination form the Awami League to contest from the Narail 2 constituency.

The widely popular Bangladesh star has already retired from T20Is and is widely expected to call time on his ODI career after the completing of the 2019 ICC World Cup in England. Having struggled with injuries throughout his career, Mortaza’s last Test appearance for Bangladesh came in 2009.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have stated that they do not see any issue with the ODI skipper contesting the elections.

“To run in an election is his constitutional right. If he wants to exercise these rights, we have no issue. We expect him to keep the balance between his playing career and politics,” BCB spokesman Jalal Yunus said.

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