According to reports by ESPNCricinfo, Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah told his teammates on Day 3 of the Test against Zimbabwe that he was going to bid farewell to the longest format of the game.
Mahmudullah scored a sensational hundred against Zimbabwe and stitched an impressive partnership of 191 runs with pacer Taskin Ahmed for the ninth wicket. The knock proved just how important he is for Bangladesh and how dearly they will miss him in Test cricket if he chooses to hang up his boots.
Reports of Mahmuddulah announcing retirement midway through the game came as a shock to Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hassan. He is extremely unhappy with Mahmudullah’s professionalism and feels this will only affect the team negatively.
“I have not been informed officially but someone called me on the phone and said he doesn’t want to play Tests anymore,” Hassan was quoted as saying by Bengali daily Prothom Alo.
Hassan felt Mahmuddulah’s decision was directed by emotion. He also stated that it was unacceptable and hard to believe.
“Apparently, he told the dressing room. I think it is highly unusual, since the match isn’t even over. I think he did it from emotion. Such an announcement will have a negative impact on the team. It is unacceptable. I have no problem if someone doesn’t want to play, but there is no need to create a mess in the middle of a series.”
Mahmudullah told me he wanted to play all three formats: Hassan
Hassan stated that the BCB had clearly asked their players the formats in which they want to represent their country before selecting the team for the Zimbabwe Tests. Mahmudullah had apparently told Hassan back then that he was keen to play all three formats of the game.
Hassan added that this was the reason they added Mahmudullah as last-minute cover for the injured Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim. Only time will tell whether Mahmuddulah sticks to the decision that he has reportedly made.
“Four or five days before they left for Zimbabwe, we asked all the players to inform us which formats they want to play. Riyad wrote that he wants to play all three formats. Regarding Tests, he wrote that he wants to play in the format if given the opportunity, which is why we picked him in Tests. I called him to my place twice, where he confirmed me that he wants to play Tests. I find it astounding that he is talking about retirement,” the BCB President concluded.