Sylhet Strikers captain Mashrafe Mortaza has taken a break from this season's BPL to concentrate on his political career. Mashrafe is a member of parliament - he was elected for a second time in the country's general elections earlier this month. His party, the Awami League, has appointed him as the party's whip in parliament.
"Mashrafe will be available to play for the Strikers further in the season if there is an opportunity in between his political commitments and schedule," a statement from Strikers said on Wednesday. "Sylhet Strikers franchise has extended gratitude to Mashrafe for his commitment to the team in the tournament so far and looks forward to have him back when he is able."
Although he was clearly struggling with an injury, Mashrafe played Sylhet's first five matches in the competition, all of which they have lost. It was reported that he couldn't prepare for the tournament as he would have liked, so he bowled off-spin off a few paces, and batted in different positions in the batting order. It led to a lot of hue and cry, including from former captain Mohammad Ashraful, who said that Mashrafe's presence in this state was "belittling the BPL".
Sylhet has announced that Mohammad Mithun will be the captain in Mashrafe's absence. It is an interesting choice as Najmul Hossain Shanto, who has led Bangladesh impressively recently, is also in the team. Sylhet play their next match against Durdanto Dhaka on February 2