Mahmudullah confirmed as Bangladesh captain for Zimbabwe Test series

Mahmudullah confirmed as Bangladesh captain for Zimbabwe Test series

He will replace Shakib Al Hasan who is ruled out with an injury.

Mahmudullah Riyad
Mahmudullah Riyad. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hasan Papon on Tuesday confirmed Mahmudullah as the Bangladesh captain for the Test series against Zimbabwe. Papon had hinted about this appointment earlier in a press conference, and subsequently made the final announcement a couple of weeks before the Test series gets underway.

The top man in the BCB revealed that Mahmudullah was made captain despite having Mushfiqur Rahim as the preferred choice. The all-rounder will hence lead Bangladesh in the Tests against Zimbabwe in the absence of Shakib Al Hasan, who has been ruled out with a finger injury.

“There were two options — Mushfiqur [Rahim] and [Mahmudullah] Riyad. Mushfiqur wouldn’t have been a bad choice. They (the cricket operations committee) came to me with Mushfiqur’s name but what I told them was: ‘If you make Mushfiq captain, then you have to keep him as captain’,” he said.

Couldn’t risk insulting Mushfiqur: Papon

According to Papon, BCB’s cricket operations committee was willing to make Mushfiqur captain again. However, he insisted that if Mushfiqur was to be appointed as skipper, then he’d have to take up the role on a long-term basis. Papon feared that if Shakib made a comeback then Mushfiqur would once again have to step down as captain. The BCB president was not keen on this scenario and hence decided to pass the captaincy baton to Mahmudullah.

“Tell me to give Mushfiqur captaincy and I will say that in the board meeting. That is a different issue and if I am convinced then I will agree. But you will bring him and then relieve him of that duty, that can’t be done with Mushfiqur,” he added.

Bangladesh are scheduled to take on Zimbabwe in 3 ODIs, which will be followed by the 2-match Test series. Both Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have announced their squads for the one-dayers. Mashrafe Mortaza will be at the helm once again, after leading Bangladesh to yet another Asia Cup final. The Tigers will then face the Windies at home for a three-format series that gets underway on November 22.

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