It is not a matter of probably; for sure this is my last World Cup: Mortaza Getty

The upcoming World Cup is going to be the start of the end of an era for Bangladesh. Their captain Mashrafe Mortaza has confirmed that this World Cup in England is going to be his last. Sometime back, Mushfiqur Rahim had also spoken about making the tournament memorable, for it will most likely be the last time he shares the dressing room with the likes of Mortaza, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah and Tamim Iqbal in a global tournament.

"It is not a matter of probably; for sure this is my last World Cup," Mortaza said at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Monday. "But surely it is not going to be my last interaction with you."

Addressing the last press conference before their departure to Ireland, from where Bangladesh are expected to fly to England, Mortaza said that he'll not be piling pressure on himself to perform and say goodbye to the World Cups on a happy note.

"I will not let any extra pressure on myself just because it is going to be my last World Cup. It's also not that I will do any extra preparation. It's just another big tournament for us and we want to play well to make it memorable," he said. "I will try to perform as a player and as a captain. Nothing is impossible, but it will be very important for us to handle the ups and downs."

Mortaza said that they will not be getting carried away by the perception that this is Bangladesh's best ever World Cup team considering their overall experience and their red-hot form of late, that saw them win 13 out of 20 ODIs in 2018.

"We had gone to play Asia Cup with this same team but we couldn't win the trophy. Almost the same team played in the semifinal of the ICC Champions Trophy but what happened, you know.

"So there is no need to create any hype by terming it as the best team. It's the same team apart from one or two players, which has been playing together for the last two-three years but we don't have any trophy to show even though we played some finals. The team didn't do anything so significant in the meantime that they should have been termed as the best team.

"This kind of tag creates unnecessary on the players. So I don't want to say it's the best team but yes, we are going to play the World Cup with our best available team. That's it."

Mortaza will soon be pursuing career as a full-time politician. He was elected to the parliament in last year's national elections from the Bangladesh's ruling party, Awami League. There has been a lot of speculation about when that might happen but Mortaza's announcement on Monday suggests that the moment may not be too far off.

As a cricketer, Mortaza could have hit much greater heights if it wasn't for his injury-sustained career that forced him into seven knee operations. He wasn't a permanent fixture in the national dressing room until 2014, when he started his second stint as Bangladesh's captain in the shorter formats.

Mortaza played a key role behind turning Bangladesh into a force in the 50-over format, leading them to series wins over India, South Africa, Pakistan and West Indies at home in addition to a maiden World Cup quarter-final in 2015. A couple of years later, Mortaza led them to a semi-final spot in the 2017 Champions Trophy.

"No doubt this World Cup is going to be tougher for us because of the format. But I still believe we are capable of doing something extraordinary. Just we need to start the tournament on a good note. We need to take it match by match rather thinking too far," he said.