Mahmudullah Riyad, Bangladesh national cricket team skipper for the shortest format, could not participate in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) as he tested positive for Covid-19 just before his departure. He was not picked by anyone in the players' draft of the Bangabandhu T20 cup in the first round for the same reason. Gemcon Khulna, who picked Shakib Al Hasan in the first round, roped Mahmudullah in the second round of calling.
Minister Group Rajshahi had the opportunity to have him on their side as they were the fourth team to choose players in the first round with Mahmudullah still unpicked. Sarwar Imran, the head coach of the Rajshahi-based team, informed that Mahmudullah testing Covid-19 positive was the reason why they did not go for him.
Rajshahi's first and second choices were Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim respectively, followed by Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah. But the all-rounder tested positive for Covid-19 on November 8, leaving Minister Group Rajshahi hesitant whether to go for him or not.
"We had the plan to go for an A grade cricketer in the first round," said Imran. "Our first choice was Shakib, followed by Mushfiq, Tamim, and Riyad. Riyad was Covid-19 positive. The schedule of the tournament was yet to be announced and we were not sure when he would recover."
"We would have faced a big loss if a cricketer had not played a single match before the 30th. That is why we picked (Mohammad) Saifuddin and Mahedi (Hasan). Though we spoke about Riyad, we did not pick him because of him being unwell," he added.
The veteran coach, despite not having a single A grade cricketer in his side, is quite satisfied with the team. "We could not build the team exactly how we planned. I reckon we could pick 70% of the players we had originally planned. We have picked the players who are performing well in the Dhaka Premier League (DPL). We tried our best and are satisfied with the team," concluded Sarwar Imran.