'Cricket is not bigger than life'- Mushfiqur Rahim after withdrawing from Pakistan tour

Bangladesh will travel to Pakistan for their first leg later this month where they will play a 3-match T20I series between January 24-27.

Mushfiqur Rahim
Mushfiqur Rahim. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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After a plethora of discussions and deadlocks, Pakistan Cricket Board [PCB] and its counterpart Bangladesh Cricket Board [BCB] finally reached a truce, regarding the latter’s tour to Pakistan, starting this month. Bangladesh will tour Pakistan for two Tests, three T20Is and a one-off One-day International in three installments but they will be without their ace wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim.

It was reported earlier that Rahim had intimated BCB regarding his decision to not tour Pakistan and his plea has now been accepted, with Bangladesh naming a 15-man squad for the upcoming three-match T20I series sans the star batsman which starts from January 24th at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

International cricket returned to Pakistan when the Sri Lankan visited the nation for a series of white-ball Internationals back in September before returning in December for the 2-match Test series. Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne was impressed with the security conditions in Pakistan and had even expressed regret over his decision of skipping the limited-overs leg of the tour.

However, Mushfiqur’s family is still apprehensive about the security conditions in Pakistan, and that became the basis of his decision to skip the tour, the wicket-keeper revealed on Friday while also asserting that cricket is not bigger than life.

“I have already informed Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB)  that I am not going to Pakistan for the upcoming series. I have submitted an official letter, and BCB accepted that. Not just T20Is, I am unavailable for the entire series,” Mushfiqur told the media as quoted by Times Now in the aftermath of the final of Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League [BPL] at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Friday 

“My family is afraid of the security condition of Pakistan. In this situation, I can’t go to Pakistan and play cricket there. It is always tough for me to sit down from a series of Bangladesh national team,” he added.

Mushfiqur Rahim’s family doesn’t want him to tour Pakistan

The wicketkeeper-batsman admitted that the security conditions in Pakistan now and even revealed that he will tour the country in the future, provided the security conditions remain consistent. The right-hander reminisced about the last time he toured Pakistan [2008] and also lauded the playing conditions in Pakistan but admitted that his family is not permitting him to go to Pakistan for the upcoming tour in the wake of uncertainty over the security

“My family is not permitting me to go to Pakistan. Cricket is not bigger than life. But at the same time, I would like to say that the situation in Pakistan is better than before. I toured Pakistan in 2008 before that incident (terror attack on Sri Lankan team in 2009). Pakistan is a wonderful place to play cricket. The wickets of Pakistan are batting-friendly and I will miss playing there. But if the situation gets better and remains better consistently, I would definitely love to go to Pakistan to play cricket,” Mushfiqur said.

Rahim hoped that the players who have got the opportunity will play good cricket against Pakistan in the upcoming T20I series.

“There are many players who did well in BPL and in India series. I will expect them to play well in the upcoming series as well. It’s an opportunity for the young guys. It’s really tough to play good cricket against a team like Pakistan in their home. But I believe the boys will pose a strong challenge,” he added.

Bangladesh will travel to Pakistan for their first leg later this month where they will play a 3-match T20I series between January 24-27. Apart from Rahim, five members of the support staff will not be travelling with the team.

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