I am more than happy to be included in the team as I was injured and was out of the team for nearly one and a half years. Alhamdullilah that I got selected in the team in the previous series.
Senior Bangladesh batsman Mahmudullah Riyad issued a clarification to refute reports of a rift with the Bangladesh Test and T20I skipper Shakib Al Hasan during the ICC World Cup.
According to the reports, which emerged during Bangladesh’s 3-ODI tour of Sri Lanka in late July, ODI vice-captain Shakib had suggested during a selection meeting that Mahmdullah be dropped from the team’s fourth World Cup game against Sri Lanka on June 11. Mahmudullah had batted slowly in the team’s third World Cup match against England when the Tigers were chasing 387 to win. Shakib’s suggestion had reportedly gotten round to Mahmudullah and caused a rift between the two senior players.
The reports in question also said that Mahmudullah, after scoring a 50-ball 69 against Australia on June 20, had reacted with anger directed at teammates after he returned to the dressing room following his dismissal.
Mahmudullah, however, said yesterday in a Facebook post that there were no problems between Shakib and himself.
In a video message with the caption reading ‘For your clarification, I want to let everyone know that the rumours of a rift between me and Shakib in the dressing room are not true’, Mahmudullah stressed that all was well in the Tigers’ dressing room.
“A while ago I saw a headline in an online site that the incident with Shakib in the dressing room was presented differently,” Mahmudullah said in the video. “Actually, there is no clash whatsoever between me and Shakib. We have been very good teammates as long as we have been playing together. We still are and inshAllah we will be the same in the future. I think it is a lie that I have had any issue with Shakib. I thought that I should clarify this, which is the reason for this video. We have some very important matches coming up... please pray for us so that we can perform even better for Bangladesh.”
There has also been talk about Mahmudullah’s fitness. He has recovered from a calf injury that saw him miss Bangladesh’s penultimate World Cup match against India. He had also been nursing a shoulder injury since before the World Cup and only returned to bowling his part-time off-spin with a modified, round-arm action in the three-ODI series in Sri Lanka.
“I am hundred per cent fit after that calf muscle injury. I had taping [on his calf] and ran yesterday. Shoulder range is also better, our physio [Thihan Chandramohan and Dr. Debashish [Chowdhury] reported that. Yes, I will try [bowling]. I will start bowling from today [Sunday],” he said.
According to the 33-year-old, the break after the Sri Lanka series will help players to start fresh, but Mahmudullah added that it’s an open challenge for him now to give his best in the upcoming one-off Test match against Afghanistan, which will be followed by a tri-nation T20I series also involving Zimbabwe.
“I think it’s an open challenge now, because the preliminary squad has just been announced, not the final team. So, everyone will try to give their best physically. There will be a physical test soon,” he said.