Mustafizur expected to return for Sri Lanka tour

Mustafizur Rahman, Bangaldesh pacer, is likely to make a comeback to international cricket following a good show in the Bangladesh Cricket League. Minhajul Abedin, the Bangladesh Cricket Board’s chief selector, has been impressed by the left arm-pacer’s show in domestic matches and indicated that he could be drafted into the national side for the full tour of Sri Lanka.

Mustafizur, who made his debut in April 2015, has suffered several niggles and injuries through the course of his short career. Since then, he has figured in only two Tests, 11 One-Day Internationals and 15 Twenty20 Internationals. He underwent a surgery on his shoulder in August last year after suffering an injury in July, while playing for Sussex in the English T20 tournament.

He was picked for the limited-overs series against New Zealand, and returned with only five wickets in four matches. He was rested for the recently-concluded one-off Test against India in order to give him ample time for recovery. However, he played for South Zone and bagged four wickets in two matches.

“I am really impressed with the way he bowled in the second innings [against Central Zone],” Minhajul said on Friday (February 18). “I think he got back his rhythm, so there is no need for him to play the fourth-round match. You can only know whether he will be in the Test team or not when we announce it but I can say that he is ready to play the full series in Sri Lanka.”

Khaled Mahmud, the BCB director and Bangladesh manager, wants the pacer’s workload to be handled with care to ensure he has a longer career. “I am sure he can play in all three formats in Sri Lanka but we have to keep in mind that he has just returned from a major injury,” Mahmud said. “If we handle him with care, his career will be prolonged.”

The 21-year old pacer believes that he is completely fit and is confident of bowling longer spells. “I felt a little discomfort on my back but gradually everything was fine,” Mustafizur told Daily Star. “I bowled 31 overs with ease. Playing two rounds of BCL matches helped me a lot to get back full confidence in my bowling.

“I now have full confidence to play the Sri Lanka series but the selectors and team management will take the decision about what would be best for me. I missed the Test in India so I am looking forward to Sri Lanka. Mentally I am also fresh now and I am happy with the way I bowled in the last round of the BCL.”

Mustafizur is expected to join the national camp on February 24. (Courtesy Cricbuzz)


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