A timely decision that resonates with fans
Mushfiqur Rahim's announcement to retire from the T20 format for Bangladesh yesterday was welcomed by the Tigers' fans as a timely one.
There were mixed reactions from the Bangladeshi supporters on social media. However, the majority of them were seen praising Mushfiqur's decision.
In the recent past, the 35-year-old has found himself in the firing line for his dismal performances in the shortest format of the game, and the wicketkeeper-batter received ample criticism during the ongoing Asia Cup 2022, where he failed to make his presence felt with the bat and also remained ineffective behind the stumps.
Mushfiqur scored five runs in two matches and was guilty of putting down the opportunity to remove player-of-the-match Kusal Mendis early in the second game against Sri Lanka. Moreover, he did not attempt to convince the skipper Shakib Al Hasan of a caught-behind dismissal after Mendis nicked an Ebadot Hossain delivery later in the game, which Bangladesh lost by two wickets to end their Asia Cup campaign.
Previously, Tamim Iqbal announced his retirement from T20 format through a Facebook post earlier this year after Mahmudullah Riyad retired from the Test format, in a rather mysterious fashion, the year before.
Mahmudullah officially announced his retirement four months after he was given a guard of honour in his 50th Test, played against Zimbabwe in Harare last year.
Following that Test, a number of Bangladesh players paid their tribute to Mahmudullah through social media, but Mahmudullah, or anyone else for that matter, made no official announcement in this regard at the time.
Mushfiqur, however, followed protocols and had officially sent a letter to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) before announcing his decision publicly, the chairman of the cricket operations committee, Jalal Yunus, confirmed the news to The Daily Star.
"Mushfiqur has given an official letter to the board regarding his retirement from the T20 format. Obviously, his contribution to Bangladesh cricket is something we all have to accept. However, the board will sit and inform the decision regarding his retirement later," said Yunus.
However, even though Mushfiqur sent a letter to the BCB informing of his decision beforehand, it can be argued that his methods lacked proper communication with the board as well. It certainly was in stark contrast with the way the ECB announced Ben Stokes' decision to step aside from ODIs in July.
It only reflects the lack of trust that persists between the BCB and the players, regardless of the cricketers in question. In fact, Bangladesh's most successful skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is still not officially retired from cricket even though it has been a common knowledge for a while that the cricketer is not draping the red and green in the future.
Many are blaming the BCB for not providing the platform to the players to make a smooth transition, terming it as part of lacking the right process and culture in Bangladesh cricket. However, an influential board director requesting anonymity said that it's the players who need to make the call at the right time.
"Look, we notice the fact that the board often faces media trials in social media, which is not right. I think it's the players who should come forward and call it a day as only they know better when is the right time to say goodbye," the BCB official said.
Apart from Mushfiqur's poor performance in the Asia Cup that prompted him to retire from the T20 format, it was also learned that both Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah are not in the long-term plans of Sridhar Sriram, the Tigers' newly hired Technical Consultant, which the wicket-keeper batter also took that into account before making the call.
Since the retirement of Mushfiqur from T20Is, the focus has now shifted towards Mahmudullah for his string of below-par performances, leading to many fans now demanding his retirement from the format ahead of the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup later this year.
Only time will tell whether Mahmudullah follows the same route as his brother-in-law.