The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) reportedly asked every player about their preferred formats in international cricket before finalising the annual contract list. Pacer Mustafizur Rahman informed that he was interested to play white-ball cricket only and got a 'white ball only' contract. The board gave him permission to participate in the IPL while the team was gearing up for the Test series against Sri Lanka.
But Khaled Mahmud, team director and former Bangladesh captain, made some bold claims while speaking to the media yesterday, saying that the option of 'choosing formats' was never there for young players like Mustafizur. But a recent statement from BCB president Nazmul Hassan has suggested otherwise.
Mahmud stated yesterday, "[Nazmul Hassan] Papon bhai earlier said that the players were allowed to pick and choose between formats. But it was not applicable for everyone. He said that about the seniors. How old is Mustafiz? He is not a Shakib or a Tamim or a Mashrafe or a Mushfiq who have played so much across formats. It's important to play for the country."
But today Nazmul Hassan's statement proved that Mahmud's claims were inaccurate. "When the players were given options, Mustafiz didn't pick Tests. He is not a first-choice pick in this format anyway. He is not very interested in playing Tests. That's the reality and we all know that and that's okay," said Hassan.
The BCB president also said that he doesn't understand why there is so much talk about Mustafizur's decision to play the IPL and not play Tests although Hassan himself said a few days ago that Mustafizur might be called back from IPL if his service is needed in the Sri Lanka series.
There has been a lot of chatter about Mustafizur's unavailability for Tests, especially since the frontline fast bowlers sustained injuries. Taskin Ahmed, Bangladesh's premier fast bowler in Tests, has been ruled out of the Sri Lanka series.