Bangladesh coach wants Mustafizur Rahman to play in England
Hathurusingha wants Mustafizur to take up the opportunity to play in England with Sussex in spite of concerns over his fitness.
Refuting claims made by Bangladesh national team physio Baizidul Islam that the BCB were worried over young fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman's burgeoning workload, head coach Chandika Hathurusingha claimed that the 20-year-old should not pass by the opportunity to play for English side Sussex, whom he has signed up for as the second overseas player for the Natwest T20 Blast as well as the Royal London One-day Cup.
"If you want to improve the performance, you have to play in those conditions," Hathurusingha said, as reported by ESPN Cricinfo. "[If] you don't go there, you don't know. Bangladesh cricket will be benefited. Mustafiz will develop quickly and perform well. So if it is not going to harm his health, I think it is a good thing for him to go and play. It is a rare opportunity for Bangladeshi players to play there [in England]. If I can send four players I will send them all. It is the best way to do it."
Nicknamed the ‘Fizz’, Mustafizur has been making huge waves in international cricket ever since making his debut against India in a 3-match ODI series in mid-2015 where he led the hosts to a memorable 2-1 series victory, picking up 13 wickets. The latest recognition for the immensely talented left-arm medium pacer came when he was named as ‘The Emerging Player of the Season’ at the end of the 2016 IPL season.
Representing champions Sunrisers Hyderabad, he picked up 17 scalps from 16 matches at an average of 24.76 and a miserly economy rate of 6.90. However, a slight hamstring injury he picked up towards the latter stages of the season has led to worries that the youngster might be suffering from a burnout due to playing non-stop cricket over the past year or so.
“Mustafizur needs some rest to remove the stress. If he continues like this, he may collapse anytime. We need to assess him carefully to see how long he needs to stay away from cricket,” Bangladesh physio Baizidul Islam had said on Wednesday, only to be contradicted by the national coach, just hours later.
Hathurusingha feels that playing in the seam-friendly conditions in England will help Mustafizur develop himself as a bowler as well as being prepared to work out new ways to outfox the opposition batsmen once they come familiar with his wicket-taking deliveries.
"We all know that his mystery is going to be found out very soon, so at the same time, I am looking forward to his cricketing intelligence. So we will find ways for him to be competitive. Our challenge is to look after him and develop him and keep him in the pack to play for Bangladesh," he said.
Hathurusingha also expressed hope that his premier fast bowler will excel in the longer format of the game as well as he has done in ODI and T20 cricket, thus far.
"He has played two Test matches and became Man of the Match in one with four wickets," Hathurusingha said. "At the start, it is impressive but as you said it is going to be a challenge. He has to be fit, we have to look after him.”