Mahmudullah absent in 26-member squad for Afghan series

Mahmudullah Riyad, a veteran batter, didn’t make the 26-person squad that began practicing for the next Afghanistan series today, and it appeared that his World Cup hopes were finished.

National Cricket Stadium of Sher-e-Bangla. While head coach Chandika Hathurusingha has not yet arrived in Bangladesh, assistant coach Nic Pothas oversaw the first day of practice. On June 3, the day before practice gets under way, the head coach will return to the nation.

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Five of the 26 cricketers who are expected to play in the bilateral series against Afghanistan, according to team manager Nafis Iqbal, have not yet arrived at the camp since they are with the Bangladesh A squad, which will play the third and final unofficial Test against West Indies A.

Mahmudullah’s exclusion, however, caused some discussion in light of the 2023 World Cup. Mahmudullah was under consideration for a spot in the World Cup despite losing his spot following the ODI series against England at home in March, according to Captain Tamim Iqbal and BCB President Nazmul Hassan Papon.

Nafis, however, informed that Mahmudullah was not called up for the preparation camp despite being present in the country.

“No (he was not called up). If he was called up, you would have seen him here,” Nafis said replying to a query.

The 37-year old Mahmudullah of late has failed to meet up the demand of modern cricket as his lack of strike rotation came to the fore. Even his fielding was not top notch as the age clearly took a toll on his body.

His replacement Towhid Hridoy, who is 20-years old meanwhile was electric in fielding and also scored runs with healthy strike rate. Bangladesh has the back up in Yasir Ali Rabbi and Afif Hossain for this position, meaning Mahmuduallh’s return to the squad looked completely bleak.

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