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Can Mahmudullah make an ODI comeback?

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 14 March, 2023 12:00 AM
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Can Mahmudullah make an ODI comeback?

Will Mahmudullah get a second chance to say a final goodbye to ODIs? Writing off a cricketer’s future can always turn out to be a big mistake given the sports propensity to flip the narrative on its head.

Mahmudullah was excluded or rested as the team management put it from the squad picked for the upcoming three-match ODIs against Ireland can certainly take inspiration and move forward with the hope that the doors do not shut on him with regards to playing the 50-over format.

It is too early to predict whether it will turn into reality or not but with the Bangladesh Cricket Board seeking to form a side with the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023, scheduled in India from October to November, that possibility could seem far-fetched.

Mahmudullah already retired from the Tests and his T20Is career seems all but over since the last ICC World T20 Cup as he was not picked for the shortest format since that point of time.

However, the right-handed batsman decided not to retire from the shortest format during that point of time when the board approached him in this regard as he wanted to see whether could make a comeback or not in the T20Is but that certainly looks highly unlikely in the present scenario as board is eyeing to back the young guns to blaze for them in the shortest format.

Mahmudullah ODIs career seems to be moving in the same direction if not anything else look in the same direction and his comeback in the ODIs set-up depends on lot or permutation and combination like the youngster who are replacing him in the Ireland series need to perform extremely along the way he have to deliver with the bat in the upcoming Dhaka Premier League, the country’s traditional Dhaka-club based 50-over tournament, scheduled to begin on March 15.

Mahmudullah is not scoring runs regularly as he used to do in past and many suggest that age is becoming a big factor for him as it is having an impact on his reflexes as well as when he is fulfilling the duty of a fielder.

National selector Habibul Bashar insisted to the media on Monday that it is too early to determine the end of anyone’s career as they have rested the senior campaigner to examine their bench strength against Ireland.

It is understood the 37-year-old has been omitted on the back of his dismal run in the recently-concluded three ODIs against the touring England where he could bag only 71 runs.

“Let us focus on this series,” Habibul told reporters when he was asked whether Mahmudullah is an automatic choice in the next series or not.

“We have to give time to the new player that is coming in the side and where Mahmudullah is batting we have one or two replacements that we want to see,” he said.

“It’s very important to see our bench strength and we don’t provide an opportunity to the reserve players to be prepared then it is really tough to replace someone if he is injured during a significant series,” said Habibul.

Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha has already announced that they are moving with the forthcoming ICC World Cup 2023 and ICC T20 World Cup 2024 in mind and wants to make a fresh start from the home series against England and given enough indication that to him not only immediate result is important but along the way he also wants to prepare cricketers to excel in the marquee events.

As a result, he is including few youngsters in his side and their noteworthy performance just might make Mahmudullah’s return difficult in the ODI format.