POST TIME: 24 January, 2020 10:43:02 AM
Mahmudullah gears up to cover Shakib, Mushfiq’s absence
He is totally happy with security measures in Pakistan
BSS, Dhaka

Mahmudullah gears up to cover Shakib, Mushfiq’s absence

Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad (R) and his Pakistan counterpart Babar Azam pose for a photograph with three-amtch T20 series trophy at Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore yesterday. BCB Photo

Bangladesh’s middle order is looking vulnerable in absence of two stalwarts-Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan, captain Mahmudullah Riyad has planned to plug the loopholes by promoting him up in the batting order. Mushfiqur Rahim pulled him out of the tour due to security concern while Shakib Al Hasan has been serving two years ban, one year of that suspended imposed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) due to his failure to report corrupt approaches.

Mahmudullah has been the side’s designated big-hitter in the slog overs in the last four years, having re-engineered his batting for the shortest format with a lot of success. But the absence of Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan might prompt him to change his role. Ahead of the first T20 International against Pakistan, Mahmudullah indicated that he is ready to promote him up in the order in the ongoing three-match series.

”It depends on the management [whether I will bat up in the order] we need to sit together and if I get the opportunity to bat at the top order I will be happy,” Mahmudullah said in pre-match conference in Lahore yesterday. Ideally, Mahmudullah is best suited for the last six to seven overs, while Tamim is usually trusted to give the team a sound start. The likes of Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar batted around him and one of them might be given the role that Mahmudullah is used to play. And it might open the door for Mahmudullah to promote him upward in the batting order.

”But it’s more important to contribute for the team and I think probably everybody is thinking the same way,” Mahmudullah said.  Riyad said they remain upbeat to beat Pakistan in the first T20 International today and gain the momentum for the whole series. Having said that, Mahmudullah insisted right at the moment the security matter which has been the focal point of the series is not in their mind as they left it out when they boarded the Pakistan-bound flight. But he revealed that the team is satisfied with the security in the place.

“We have not seen any such thing [security measures like this before] and at the moment we are really enjoying it. From security point of view Pakistan is providing us with the best possible security and we are totally happy with the security measures in place,” Mahmudullah said.  ”I think probably we left it [concern over security] when we boarded the plane so we left it in Bangladesh. We are just thinking about playing good cricket in Pakistan, it’s good to be back here and we are looking forward to demonstrate good cricket here.”

Bangladesh team reached Pakistan on Wednesday to play three-match Twenty20 international series scheduled to start at Gaddafi Stadium from January 24 leaving behind all the speculation. A chartered plane carried the 23-member contingent that included 15 cricketers and eight members of the coaching and support staffs to take part in the three-phase series opener at Gaddafi Stadium from Friday that will also host the second and third T20Is respectively on Saturday and Monday.

This is Bangladesh’s first tour to Pakistan in 12 years only finalized after wrangling over security concerns, having last played a five-match one-day series and Asia Cup – both in 2008, where international cricket is resuming gradually that was stopped after the terror attack in 2009. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had initially refused to play Tests in Pakistan stating that they were only willing to take part in Twenty20s after government granted permission just for a short[ seven day] tour due to unrest in Middle East.

However it was resolved two days after BCB made announced their stance regarding touring Pakistan after a meeting between Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani and BCB president Nazmul Hassan led to a agreement for a tour in three phases that was mediated by International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Shashank Manohar in Dubai.