All-rounder Mahmudullah makes sudden decision to retire from Test cricket
In a shocking piece of news, Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah, on Friday, announced retirement from Test cricket. He informed his teammates about the decision a day after registering his career-best score in the format, an unbeaten 150 against Zimbabwe. Mahmudullah had returned to Test cricket after 18 months, having last played against Pakistan in Rawalpindi last year. Here are further details.
"Yes, he (Mahmudullah) had informed that he does not want to prolong his Test career after this game. But he did not inform us anything officially and we have to see whether it's an emotional outburst or not," a BCB official told Cricbuzz.
It is understood that Mahmudullah made the announcement shortly after the end of the third day's play of the one-off Test against Zimbabwe in Harare. However, he didn't comment on his decision to retire. He only spoke about his 191-run partnership with Taskin Ahmed for the ninth wicket. Mahmudullah hasn't even announced his retirement on any of his social media handles.
Mahmudullah is featuring in his 50th match in the format. And he made it memorable by scoring his fifth Test century. He finished on 150* off 278 balls, a knock studded with 17 fours and 1 six. His 191-run stand with Ahmed came after Bangladesh were reduced to 270/8. At the moment, Bangladesh lead by 237 runs after bowling out Zimbabwe for 276.
Mahmudullah was a last-minute addition to the Test side for the series against Zimbabwe. The star all-rounder was picked as a cover after Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim were injured during last month's Dhaka Premier League matches. Notably, Mahmudullah had returned to the Test side after 18 months. He last played against Pakistan in February 2020.
Speaking on Mahmudullah's decision, BCB president Nazmul Hassan said, "It is highly unusual, since the match isn't even over. I think he did it from emotion." "Such an announcement will have a negative impact on the team. It's unacceptable. I have no problem if someone doesn't want to play, but there is no need to create a mess in the middle of a series."
Hassan said Mahmudullah agreed to play all three formats ahead of the Zimbabwe tour. "Before they left for Zimbabwe, we asked all the players to inform us which formats they want to play," Hassan said. "Riyad wrote that he wants to play all three formats. Regarding Tests, he wrote that he wants to play in the format if given the opportunity."
Mahmudullah remained an all-format player from his Test debut in 2009 to 2017. However, he has been dropped twice from the Test side in the last four years. In the 2019/20 season, he was dropped following low scores against Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mahmudullah has played 197 ODIs and 89 T20Is for Bangladesh. He has also been Bangladesh's captain in T20Is since 2019.
During Bangladesh's last tour of Zimbabwe in 2013, wicket-keeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim stepped down as captain in the middle of the ODI series. However, he reversed his decision after the completion of series, and captained Bangladesh for another four years.