The Tigers’ skipper has been subjected to a flurry of criticism for his performances in the World Cup in 2019, prompting calls for his retirement in some quarters.
Speaking at a press conference in Sylhet on Saturday ahead of the Tigers’ first ODI against Zimbabwe, Mashrafe straigth-batted questions about his future.
But the veteran seamer took umbrage when his self-respect was seemingly brought into question.
“Self-respect or shame… Do I steal when I’m out on the field? Am I a thief? I can’t find any link between playing cricket and self-respect or shame. What do I have to be ashamed of? I play for Bangladesh. Am I against the people of the country?”
“If I can’t perform then I’ll be left out of the side. It’s that simple.”
Any player can suffer a dip in form and must be open to questions about his application or discipline, according to Mashrafe.
“You (reporters) and fans will criticise me if I don’t get wickets. But why should I be ashamed because of that? I don’t have any problem with criticism. But why would I have to put my self-respect at stake? I’m not committing theft.”