Uncertainty over Mushfiqur’s participation in Zimbabwe Test
Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim has made himself unavailable for Bangladesh’s tour to Pakistan citing personal reasons. So quite naturally he will not play the two Tests against Pakistan.
But now it seems like Mushfiqur’s participation in the lone Test against Zimbabwe from February 22 is also in jeopardy, as he is not in the 14-man squad announced a few days ago, which chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu is saying is for all three Tests Bangladesh will play against Pakistan and Zimbabwe in coming months.
As Mushfiqur is not a part of the squad, the chief selector was asked if Mushfiqur would not play against Zimbabwe as well, despite the match being in Bangladesh. In reply Nannu said, “Mushfiqur is injured. Once he is fit, he has to prove himself to get into the team.”
He also added, “Because of the injury Mushfiqur is not playing in the first round of the Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL). If he gets fit and plays in the second round, only then will we take him in the team. But first he has to give the fitness test.”
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB)’s Cricket Operations chairman Akram Khan addressed the Mushfiqur issue in a different tone. According to Dhaka-based newspaper Samakal, Akram said Mushfiqur will definitely play against Zimbabwe if he becomes fit. The newspaper also reported that Mushfiqur too is determined to play against Zimbabwe, and so he is preparing to take part in the second round of the BCL.
Regarding the issue, Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo said: “If we take Mushfiqur in the team [for Zimbabwe Test], then we will have to exclude the player we are taking to Pakistan. And again when we will play against Pakistan in April, we will have to take another person in place of him [Mushfiqur]. So this will be unfair to that another person. Maybe the selectors are trying to provide him with enough opportunity. Everything will become clear once we hold a talk with Mushfiqur.”
Another member of the selection panel, Habibul Bashar Sumon wants to play safe regarding this subject. He said the main focus at the moment should be on the Pakistan tour. “Mushfiqur has a hamstring injury. If he becomes fit, the board will of course consider him,” he said.