Commanding the Field

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Mashrafe Bin Mortaza
Captain, Bangladesh ODI & T20 National Cricket Team
By Atif Azam

“Unless you are willing to give apply yourself completely, you will never reach your true potential in all facets of life.”
A leader must accept losing certain battles in order to win the war. The quality of a leader is not defined by their desire to reap the benefits of their accomplishments; it relies on their endurance through the defeats, remaining optimistic with the vision of the ultimate victory. Though leadership entails many notable qualities, belief in one’s self and inspiration are the primary characteristics required of a leader. They must instill these qualities in their followers, building the mentality that they will never give up until their surmise.
Leaders are not limited to the human race. They extend to the animal kingdom; the queens of a bee hive or the alpha male of a wolf pack are the most crucial component of their specie’s progress. Weathering the storm and navigating their team to victory is what creates the legacy of a leader; they are the kings and the emperors of their domains.
There is often a lack of true leaders in many of these domains because a society often fails to cultivate the true potential of the youth. In the realm of international sports, Bangladesh is emerging in the field of cricket and Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is leading the way for the country’s recognition.

“Handling the pressure of any integral match is the toughest part of the job. Remaining calm even when the situation is not favourable is the key to being an exemplary captain.”

Though he has faced a multitude of agonies and tribulations throughout his career, one of his most difficult moments came when he could not participate in the 2011 World Cup because of external matters. However, he has overcome the obstacles in his life and transformed the experience into mental strength. Mashrafe remains a force to reckon with. His zeal and energy create a sense of vigour and ecstasy for his countrymen. He has taken the reputation of the cricket team to heights that were thought of as unattainable.
Seamlessly dominating the field, he makes the undertaking seem like the work of magic. During a recent meeting, Mashrafe elaborated on the aspects of being a leader and how his life experiences have shaped his ability to command the field.
“A leader must be respected by his teammates. They must have the undoubted belief that their leader will stand with them through thick and thin. If his or her followers know this to be true, they will extend their abilities that extra mile required to achieve their goals,” states Mashrafe. Adding that the ability to handle pressure is what separates those who lead from those who follow.
A pressure that Mashrafe understand extensively as the captain of the national team, explaining, “Handling the pressure of any integral match is the toughest part of the job. Remaining calm even when the situation is not favourable is the key to being an exemplary captain.” There is no room for raising one’s voice or losing patients because it creates a negative environment in his perspective.
Recalling a number of challenging occasions, he elaborates, “To be honest, putting up a brave face despite being down is very important because my emotional downfall can have an impact on the team’s morale. There are times when I forget to control my emotions but my teammates had understood my reasoning and intention for it.” Mashrafe emphasized the need to analyse the situation and not react in an inappropriate manner despite the burden of the challenge. He adds, “During these situation idiosyncrasy is essential. A true leader must understand each and every member of the team that he is responsible for.”
Mashrafe believes that there will be a day when the team’s grit and determination will allow them to proudly hoist Bangladesh’s flag on the international cricket platform as one of the best teams in the world.
“If we have the ability to show our potential in front of the world on one of the biggest stages surely our countrymen will have a similar kind of capability in their own respective areas. They can take up the challenge and meet the requirement to make their mark in any field that they are given a chance.”
Mashrafe fervently dreams of a day when the progress of his nation and his team will resonate throughout the world. Leading his team throughout challenges on a global stage, he is the ideal example of how the resilience of a leader can allow his team to prosper.

The writer is a Senior Correspondent in New Age.

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