Bangladesh sacked Mohammad Ashraful as national cricket captain on Tuesday and replaced him with Mashrafe Mortaza for tours of the West Indies and Zimbabwe. Bangladesh failed to progress to the Super Eight phase of the Twenty20 World Cup in England after losing both their first round matches to India and Ireland, though the Bangladesh Cricket Board said it was not a reason for Ashraful's relegation. "The decision to replace him was taken with the intention of relieving the load on Ashraful so he can play his natural game," BCB spokesman Jalal Yunus said in a statement. "We all know his quality and what he is capable of as a batsman. "We are confident that without the burden of captaincy his batting would flourish and he would contribute more to the team." Ashraful was appointed captain in July 2006, replacing Habibul Bashar.