Mahmudullah has been recalled to the Bangladesh Test squad after an absence of over a year. The 35-year-old batsman, who is the captain of the Bangladesh T20I team, last played a Test in February 2020.
Injuries to senior players keeper Mushfiqur Rahim and Tamim Iqbal led to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) turning to Mahmudullah.
Mahmudullah Returns To The Test Squad While Shakib Al Hasan Whose Last T20I Came In September 2019 Returns To T20I Squad
Mahmudullah played the last of his 49 Tests in January 2020, against Pakistan in Rawalpindi, and was subsequently left out of the series against Zimbabwe last year and against West Indies and Sri Lanka this year. Mahmudullah was also among a handful of cricketers to be given a white-ball-only central contract in 2020.
He averages 31.77 amassing 2764 runs from 93 innings in 49 Tests but was inconsistent and didn’t show much sign of improvement in the lead-up to his axing. He was in form in early 2019, scoring 22, 146, 13, and 67 in the two-Test series in New Zealand, but then had a top score of 39* in four Test matches, where he totalled only 109 runs in eight innings. Though out of the red-ball side, the 35-year-old has been a regular in the Bangladesh white-ball teams.
“During an emergency meeting yesterday that included the selectors, the board president (Nazmul Hassan) and myself, we decided that we can’t take a chance with the injuries,” BCB cricket operations chairman Akram Khan is quoted as saying.
“Because of the situation, we decided to make the squad bigger. We are 80 percent sure that he (Rahim) can play, but we don’t want to take a chance. We want to have a backup batsman in the squad.”
The Zimbabwe tour also marks the return of all-rounder and former captain Shakib Al Hasan to the Bangladesh Test and T20I squads. Shakib Al Hasan last played a Test match against West Indies in February.
He missed the three Tests against Sri Lanka as he was playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2021 Indian Premier League before the tournament was postponed due to a bio-bubble breach. His last T20I came in September 2019, after which a thigh injury forced him out of Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand.
Bangladesh Plays Zimbabwe In 1 Test, 3 ODIs And 3 T20Is
Tamim Iqbal also returns to the T20I squad after taking leave from the New Zealand tour. Bangladesh plays Zimbabwe in one Test, three ODIs, and as many T20Is in a tour that will last from July 7 to July 27.
Tamim Iqbal withdrew from the Super League stage of Prime Bank Cricket Club’s campaign in the Dhaka Premier League (DPL) after suffering a knee injury, while Mushfiqur Rahim has a fractured finger, which he sustained last week while playing in a DPL match. The wicket-keeper batsman, in a major blow to Bangladesh, had fractured his index finger ahead of the Zimbabwe series.
Mushfiqur Rahim was the top scorer in the recently-concluded 3-match ODI series against Sri Lanka at home. He scored 237 runs in the three matches and helped Bangladesh win their first ODI series against Sri Lanka by scoring 125 in the second ODI.
Bangladesh Cricket Board cricket operations chairman Akram Khan said Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim are recovering from injuries, and thus added Mahmudullah for his experience. Mahmudullah has played 49 Tests scoring 2764 runs at an average of 31.77. He has also picked up 43 wickets.