Mustafizur Rahman was an ever-present and integral part of Sunrisers Hyderabad’s run to their maiden Indian Premier League trophy in 2016. He was one of the bowlers of the tournament and was named the Emerging Player of IPL 2016 for his 17 wickets from 16 matches at an impressive economy rate of 6.9. So, if you are a neutral Mustafizur fan who got to know him mainly through his IPL 2016 heroics, it might seem a little puzzling to see that the left-arm pacer is not a part of Sunrisers’ matches.
It turns out that South African pace maestro Dale Steyn is among the puzzled, neutral fans. Steyn is a former Hyderabad player who moved to Gujarat Lions, and during the 2016 edition had seen Fizz’s exploits from the opposition camp. The Proteas speedster is not playing the IPL this season, and being thus out of the loop, in a tweet on Saturday asked after Mustafizur, wondering what became of him.
He did not have to wait long for an answer from the source, although a host of Mustafizur fans had already replied. Yesterday, from Belfast, Mustafizur let the senior paceman know of his whereabouts.
After his stellar outing in the IPL last season, Mustafizur’s career took a minor dip as he sustained a shoulder injury in his subsequent stint with Sussex and had to go under the knife in August. Fizz returned to the national picture on Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand in December-January, but is still working his way back to the form which had seen him become a scourge to batsmen all around the world. Mustafizur performed admirably on the Sri Lanka tour, putting in a match-winning performance in the second Test, Bangladesh’s 100th, before ending the tour with a four-wicket haul in the second T20I on April 6.
His stint with Sunrisers this season, however, was not an auspicious one. He played the match against Mumbai Indians on April 12, less than 24 hours after landing in India and performed poorly, conceding 34 runs in 2.2 overs in a loss to Mumbai Indians. That was his sole match this season, which came to an early end for Mustafizur as he had to join Bangladesh on their tour of Ireland and England.