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BCB President Nazmul Hassan takes blame for the omission of Mahmudullah

Mahmudullah of Bangladesh
Mahmudullah of Bangladesh. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

We got a major hint about the impact that Bangladesh Cricket Board President Nazmul Hassan has had over the team selection process when he confirmed that it was his decision to bench all-rounder Mahmudullah from the ongoing Test against the Sri Lankans.

Hassan also revealed his plans on dropping another big gun from the squad, but the injury to wicketkeeper Liton Das came to the player’s rescue. The 22-year right-hand batsman will miss the second Test due to the same.

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“I take all the decisions,” said the President, on the day Bangladesh started their journey of their 100th Test. “I have said it repeatedly that I take every decision. The decision that [Mahmudullah] won’t play the Test also has to come from me. And no one told me that he won’t be in the ODI squad. Until I take the decision, what others say doesn’t count. Chandika [Hathurusingha, the coach] doesn’t send me anything, it is the selectors who send me the list of players.

“Mahmudullah got left out because this is an important Test for us. Just because we like Mahmudullah, Shakib [Al Hasan], Tamim [Iqbal] and Mushfiqur, doesn’t mean we will sit around while they keep playing with poor form. It will make the team unstable” he added.

“There would have been a bigger change had Liton Das not got injured. Anyone can be dropped. I don’t need a player in the squad who effects a team after being dropped. This message has to be clear. Whoever is replacing a senior player, you have to encourage him, impart intelligence to him. It is a team game after all.”

Hassan’s comments somehow did not match the instruction he had set out for the revamped selection committee in June 2016, when the selection of the Bangladesh team became a three-step process.

Coach Chandika Hathurusingha, team manager Khaled Mahmud and BCB’s cricket operations committee chairman Akram Khan were added to the committee which marked the enlargement of the same. Previously, Hassan had stated that the presence of Khaled Mahmud will restrict his role in the selection process in future.

Chief Selector Faruque Ahmed also stepped down from the job saying the new configuration would control the independence of the appointed selectors. Former Bangladesh batsman Minhajul Abedin was brought in to succeed Faruque.

President Nazmul Hassan has been recorded thrice in the last nine months to have made public comments on the team’s selection. While the home series against Afghanistan in September 2016 was underway, Hassan confirmed the inclusion of left-arm spinner Mosharraf Hossain into the squad that will face the English in a ODI series. The 34-year-old was left out of the second and third ODIs after failing miserably in the first match.

Hassan was heard making a similar comment during the Bangladesh premier league too. He said that the selection committee should take into account the star performers from the T20 tournament and give them a chance in the training camp for the series against the Kiwis. Mehedi Maruf, one of the players Hassan had mentioned, was included in the camp in Sydney as a “development player”, and he also practiced with the squad set to face New Zealand.

Chief selector, Minhajul Abedin is sure to feel the heat of Hassan’s comment on Mahmudullah while the whole selection committee will also be pressurized. Abedin was Bangladesh’s best batsman during the 1980s-90s and is an honoured figure among the Bangladeshi Cricket fraternity.

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