He [Mushfiqur] has not informed us anything [about being part of the Pakistan tour] yet but I hope he will go. All centrally-contracted players should go. You need to think about the country and not always about yourself. Everyone's family is important, but the country is bigger.
Nazmul Hassan, BCB PRESIDENT
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan seemed to change his stance over experienced batsman Mushfiqur Rahim's availability for the last leg of Bangladesh's tour of Pakistan.
Hassan had initially let the cricketers decide whether or not they would visit Pakistan and Mushfiqur was the only player who opted out of the first two legs of the tour, citing security concerns.
However, Hassan yesterday said that all centrally-contracted cricketers, including Mushfiqur, should be part of the last leg of the Pakistan tour in April, when the Tigers are scheduled to play an ODI and the second and final Test in Karachi.
The BCB boss backed up the statement with some bizarre logic, saying that if Mushfiqur's brother-in-law Mahmudullah Riyad did not face any security threats on the previous legs of the tour, then the wicketkeeper-batsman should reconsider his decision.
"He [Mushfiqur] has not informed us anything [about being part of the Pakistan tour] yet but I hope he will go. All centrally-contracted players should go. You need to think about the country and not always about yourself. Everyone's family is important, but the country is bigger," Hassan told reporters after Bangladesh registered their second innings win in Tests against Zimbabwe yesterday.
"We also had some fear in the of our minds. Everyone who toured [Pakistan] had some sort of concern… those who have already toured, including his [Mushfiqur's] family member [Mahmudullah Riyad]. What I am trying to say is that nothing will happen in Riyad's case and that the family is worried only about him [Mushfiqur]. He can ask Riyad about the experience and others too and change his perspective. However, we will not force anyone."
Hassan added that Pakistan was a different issue and reminded that the board had previously said it would not force anyone and that only after discussing with everyone, one should tour the country.
Interestingly, Mushfiqur did hint at participating in the final leg of the Pakistan tour after smashing his record third double century on the third day of the one-off Test against Zimbabwe on Monday.
A local Bengali daily yesterday quoted Mushfiqur as saying that he was hoping to continue his brilliant form with the bat in the second Test in Karachi. However, it will be interesting to see whether Mushfiqur changes his mind and tours Pakistan or sticks to his original decision.
Rumours of Mushfiqur's availability for the Pakistan tour emerged after the Tigers, riding on Mushfiqur's heroic, registered a Test win after six consecutive defeats.
Many believe that the presence of the experienced cricketer for the second and final Test against Pakistan would add some strength to the batting department, which came under the scanner after an innings-and-44-run thrashing in the first Test against Pakistan earlier this month.
The 32-year-old was also the only batsman to put their hands up during the Tigers' disappointing two-match defeat in Test series against India in November last year.
Bangladesh will visit Karachi for one ODI, on April 3, and the second and final Test, from April 5, on the last leg of the Pakistan tour.