Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has joined politics while he still leads Bangladesh team in the ODIs. The cricket star took to Facebook on Sunday to defend his decision on running for parliament after getting the ruling Awami League’s ticket for Narail months before the World Cup. To clear the confusion of his fans, Mashrafe says he has “answered the call of time” and believes “every conscious, competent and good person” should take to politics.
The right-arm fast-medium bowler is also “thrilled” at the new possibilities. “I believe all the conscious, competent and good people in Bangladesh should join politics. Many may not muster the courage to do so for different reasons, for psychological limitations,” he said in the post on the social media.
"It appears to me that it is essential to tear down the mental barrier. So I’ve taken the initiative to respond to the call I feel within,” he said.
He is also aware that he may lose support of the people beyond political divide by joining partisan politics for vote.
“For many, the status of Mashrafe, which has been built on the cricket ground for one and a half decade, has been called into question. But I am really thrilled at the new possibilities. I hope I will be able to do something that will, by the grace of Allah, encourage thousands more Mashrafes to come forward,” he said.
“I always believe that robust national development is not possible without politics…Now I have the opportunity to do something for the people of the country.
The 35-year-old spoke about the uncertainty that looms over his cricketing career as well following the latest move.
“I don’t know what is waiting for me in the four years and a half after the World Cup. That’s why I value time. I’ve responded to the call of time. Because I believe every work should be done in the nick of time,” he added.
He also explained why he has picked the Awami League.
“I was not fortunate enough to see Bangabandhu, but growing up I heard about him from many people and read about him as well. I hold him dearly in my heart having realised his words. And the Liberation War spirit is ingrained in my family,” he said referring to the Awami League’s role in leading the nation in the struggle for independence from Pakistan.
“Now I want to do something for my constituency as a partner in the development work Bangabandhu’s daughter and leader of the people Sheikh Hasina is doing,” he added.
Mashrafe has been involved in social and volunteer work for some time.
On Sept 4, 2017 he launched a volunteer organisation styled the Narail Express Foundation.
The foundation provides the underprivileged with financial assistance, health care, agricultural seeds and solar panels and is also involved in a range of ICT, sports and cultural activities.
In the Facebook post, he said he felt what he had been doing was not enough.
“I had always looked to do things on a bigger scale and now politics is presenting me the opportunity,” Mashrafe said.
He also said he did not join politics to hurt any person or party.
“I am only trying to meet the demand of time. I hope your love will drive me forward in this innings as well,” he concluded, calling for everyone’s blessing and support.