Johannesburg: Bangladesh skipper Khaled Mashud is all set to quit the captaincy after the World Cup in South Africa, but not before helping his team end a record sequence of defeats. "We just hope to win a couple of matches in the World Cup," said Mashud, whose team is winless since the last World Cup in England in 1999 having suffered a record 26 consecutive defeats in One-dayers.
Mashud said he is confident he has the team to fulfil its limited ambitions as it could beat non-Test playing nations, and group rivals, Canada and Kenya to end the losing streak in his first and last World Cup as captain. Bangladesh is clubbed with South Africa, the West Indies, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Canada and Kenya in the preliminary group. The top three teams qualify for the Super Six. "I just want to play as a member of the team after the World Cup in order to spend more time with my family," said Mashud, nicknamed the 'Pilot'.
Teams sources, however, say Mashud is stepping down as captain because he is unhappy with the Bangladesh Cricket Board for ignoring his advice to improve the team. "He is resigning as captain in sheer disappointment," the sources said. But Mashud was determined to bow out on a high note, saying he only expected his team to repeat the last Cup performance in England where it managed to win at least two matches. "We just want to repeat the same performance this time also," said Mashud, the only player to have figured in three Bangladeshi wins so far in 61 One-day Internationals.
"We are capable of beating both Canada and Kenya. It will be nice to pull off an upset win like we did in the last World Cup," Mashud said, referring to his team's controversial win over eventual runners-up Pakistan. Mashud, who made his One-day debut against India in the 1994-95 Asia Cup, is not an exciting stroke-player but a gutsy lower-order batsman capable of putting up a stiff resistance in crisis.
He is the highest run-getter in the current team, having made 659 in 51 One-dayers. Mashud, 27, is also tidy behind the stumps as he has accounted for 47 dismissals in One-dayers, including nine stumpings. Observers say Mashud is an asset as a captain also because of his positive attitude and the ability to lead from the front.