Bangladesh’s chief selector Minhajul Abedin has indicated that Mustafizur Rahman could be picked for the full tour of Sri Lanka next month, after watching the fast bowler’s performance in his latest domestic first-class appearance.
In two matches for South Zone in the Bangladesh Cricket League, Mustafizur has taken four wickets in 48 overs. He was excluded from the side for the one-off Test against India to give him time to recover fully from a shoulder surgery. Mustafizur underwent surgery in August last year after injuring his shoulder in July, while bowling for Sussex in the English T20 tournament. He was picked for the New Zealand tour but struggled, taking five wickets in the four limited-overs matches he played. Mustafizur did not play in any of the Tests.
“I am really impressed with the way he bowled in the second innings [against Central Zone],” Minhajul said. “I think he got back his rhythm, so there is no need for him to play the fourth-round match. You can only know whether he will be in the Test team or not when we announce it but I can say that he is ready to play the full series in Sri Lanka.”
Mustafizur said that he is back to full fitness and had regained confidence in bowling longer spells. He is expected to join the national camp on February 24.
“I felt a little discomfort on my back but gradually everything was fine,” Mustafizur told the Dhaka-based Daily Star. “I bowled 31 overs with ease. Playing two rounds of BCL matches helped me a lot to get back full confidence in my bowling.
“I now have full confidence to play the Sri Lanka series but the selectors and team management will take the decision about what would be best for me. I missed the Test in India so I am looking forward to Sri Lanka. Mentally I am also fresh now and I am happy with the way I bowled in the last round of the BCL.”
Khaled Mahmud, the BCB director and Bangladesh manager closely associated with Mustafizur, has urged that the bowler’s workload be handled carefully in the coming months.
“I am sure he can play in all three formats in Sri Lanka but we have to keep in mind that he has just returned from a major injury,” Mahmud said. “If we handle him with care, his career will be prolonged.”