Bangladesh allrounder Mohammad Saifuddin has insisted he was very close to playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) before injury ruined his dreams. So far, only six Bangladesh players have played in the IPL with the likes of Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman being the only ones who managed to make a mark in the competition.
The other players from Bangladesh who plied their trade in the IPL were Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Ashraful, Abdur Razzak and Mashrafe Mortaza. Mohammad Saifuddin could have further extended the list but a back injury ruined his plans of playing in the cash-rich league. He was troubled by a recurring back injury in the second half of the last year.
The injury forced him to miss the tour of Sri Lanka as well as the tour of India. Mohammad Saifuddin first impressed in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) before he grabbed the limelight by performing well in last year’s World Cup in UK. The fast-bowling allrounder had impressed against India in the tournament, scoring an unbeaten 51 in a losing cause. He had then impressed with the ball against Pakistan, picking up three wickets.
‘Playing in the IPL is my dream’
In a recent chat with Bangladesh news outlet BDccrictime, Mohammad Saifuddin revealed how his performances impressed former India batsman VVS Laxman who is also the mentor of IPL franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). The left-handed batsman revealed Laxman enquired about him before the injury sidelined him.
“You can say playing in the IPL is my dream. When I played in the last match at the Lord’s, (against Pakistan in the 2019 World Cup), VVS Laxman came to enquire about me. Our (Bangladesh) performance analyst is India’s Srinivas Chandrasekharan and he works in the Sunrisers Hyderabad as well. He wanted to know how would I fare in the IPL. But injury destroyed everything,” he said.
He further revealed Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were also interested in him. He revealed that he came to know about the franchise’s interest in him through Lakshmi Narayan, who has worked both at Super Kings and at the Dhaka Platoon, as a performance analyst.
“I was close to a chance. I heard that CSK had a discussion about me. Laxmi was our (Dhaka Platoon) video analyst as well. He told me, ‘Dhoni has talked about you’. I replied, ‘You do everything, but have allergy towards Bangladesh cricketers’.
“He said, ‘See, I’m not lying’. I said, ‘We are not someone to be pushed back’. He replied ‘See, I sent this bowling video of yours to Dhoni’. In the video, I could see Dhoni telling, ‘Ok;. They wanted to take me, but I missed due to injury. Hence they didn’t show interest in me and Josh Hazlewood was picked,” Mohammad Saifuddin added.