Isn’t The Country Bigger Than Money? – Khaled Mahmud Slams Mustafizur Rahman For Avoiding Test Cricket

Bangladesh team director Khaled Mahmud chastised pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman for ignoring red-ball cricket.

The 26-year-old left-arm pacer played 14 Test matches for Bangladesh with his last appearance in the white colours being made against West Indies in February 2021.

Mustafizur Rahman (Image Credits: Twitter)

The Bangladesh Cricket Board gave Mustafizur the clearance to play IPL 2022 for Delhi Capitals even when Bangladesh were scheduled to play a couple of Test matches in South Africa.

When BCB introduced the issue of national contracts for players format-wise in early 2021, Mustafizur opted out of the oldest format of the game because of his difficulty in dealing with the bio-bubble environment.

Mustafizur recently expressed his decision to avoid Test cricket in order to prolong his international career.

Don’t know why Mustafizur Rahman doesn’t want to play Tests: Khaled Mahmud

Mahmud expressed disappointment over Mustafizur’s decision to snub the oldest format of the game. The former Bangladesh player cited the examples of senior players like Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal playing Test cricket.

“Papon bhai (BCB president Nazmul Hassan) said that the players can discuss which format they want to play but this was only applicable to the senior players, not all players,” Mahmud said in a press briefing in Dhaka on Saturday.

“Would it be okay if (Mahmudul Hasan) Joy said that he doesn’t want to play Tests? How old is Mustafiz? How long has he been playing for? He is not Shakib, Tamim, Mashrafe or Mushfiq. These players have provided service for many years. I don’t know why Mustafiz doesn’t want to play Tests. The board should decide which format a player plays.

Khaled Mahmud
Khaled Mahmud. Image: Twitter

“Shakib and Tamim are 34-35 years old. They deserve breaks. But Litton Das doesn’t need breaks. When he becomes Shakib or Tamim, I will say that he deserves rest. Mustafiz must play Tests. It is his peak time. I am not saying he should play all the Tests but he should definitely be available for six to eight matches per year.

“I used to hear that he doesn’t want to play due to bio-bubbles, but now things have changed so that can’t be an excuse anymore. If Taskin and Shoriful can play (Tests), he should too,” Mahmud added.

Isn’t the country bigger than money?: Khaled Mahmud on Mustafizur Rahman playing IPL

Mustafizur is currently playing for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2022 having picked eight wickets in as many games at an economy rate of 7.62.

The left-arm pace bowler was bought for his base price of INR 2 crore in the auction early in February. Mahmud said Mustafizur should prefer playing for the nation over financial benefits.

“He might get two or four crores in the IPL, but isn’t cricket bigger than the money? Isn’t the country bigger than money? We never played for money. Now a cricketer needs the BCB’s help when he is dying.

“(Mustafizur) won’t need the BCB (in that situation). They can themselves help others (financially). Why won’t I want to play for Bangladesh?,” Mahmud said.

“Cricket board means Mustafiz, and Mustafiz means the cricket board. They are both in the same place. There’s no distance. Maybe nobody spoke to him,” he added.

Bangladesh will host Sri Lanka for a couple of Test matches, the series starts on May 15 in Chattogram. The two-match Test series will also be part of the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23.

Also Read: Mustafizur Rahman Will Play Sri Lanka Tests If Needed – BCB President Nazmul Hassan