'Unwise to stop a player if he gets a better opportunity to play'
Former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza said today that he was in favour of giving a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to three cricketers—Shakib Al Hasan, Liton Das and Mustafizur Rahman, for playing in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL).
On Sunday, Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha echoed the sentiment of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan Papon that players should prioritise playing for the country ahead of the T20 franchise league.
"Definitely, there is no doubt that it will help their skills if they play IPL since it's a high-class tournament. But their first priority is to play for the country," Hathurusingha told the media during the pre-match press conference ahead of the three-match T20I series in Chattogram on Sunday.
But Mashrafe said that it was not wise to hold back players when they get better opportunities to play franchise cricket.
"If they want to play…why not (allow them)? I don't see any problem if it is manageable to play the upcoming Test match (against Ireland)," said Mashrafe after his five-wicket haul helped Legends of Rupganj to secure a 10-wicket victory against Mohammedan in the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League at BKSP today.
"The other countries are not barring their players. There is no point in being emotional in this regard. It's not wise to stop any player if he gets a better opportunity to play. I think we have got the ability to manage their absence against Ireland in the only Test match," he continued.
"I hope the board and players will reach a solution after discussion," Mashrafe hoped. He also added that Bangladesh already played against Ireland by making a few changes in the squad which hinted that the absences of Shakib, Liton, and Mustafizur could be managed.
Apart from Shakib and Liton, Mustafizur will feature for Delhi Capitals in the upcoming edition of IPL and since the left-arm quick is not part of the red-ball contract, the 'cutter master' was expected to get the NOC to play from the beginning.
The one-off Test against Ireland will start on April 4 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur, and the IPL will begin on March 31.
However, the Tigers are scheduled to play a three-match ODI series against hosts Ireland from May 9 to 14, which would result in Mustafizur missing the three IPL games during that period.