What’s the story?
Bangladeshi pacer Mustafizur Rahman is set to depart from Sunrisers Hyderabad in order to get himself attuned for national duty. According to a report from ESPNCricinfo, the left-armer will return to his country on April 25 before joining his team mates in the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, Shakib Al Hasan is also likely to cut short his IPL stint with Kolkata Knight Riders for national duty. However, he will join the Bangladesh squad only on May 4 and hence should be available for the next few matches.
21-year-old Mustafizur has already had his fair share of injuries. As a result, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) are closely monitoring his workload across all competitions. Prior to the start of the tournament, there was uncertainty whether his board would grant him the No Objection Certificate (NOC) to turn out for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The heart of the matter
Ahead of the 2017 IPL, Mustafizur himself revealed that Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Mortaza had advised him to skip the lucrative Twenty20 tournament and focus on getting back into rhythm for his country. The seamer also alluded to the importance of remaining in full fitness before the Ireland tri-series, as well as the Champions Trophy, begins.
He has played just one game in this edition thus far. Against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium, the fast bowler sent down 2.4 overs and conceded as many as 34 runs from his spell without getting amongst the wickets. With leg-spinner Rashid Khan nailing down one overseas slot, the team management have preferred to use the remaining three foreign spots in the batting department.
Interestingly, Shakib has also played only one match in the season until now. In the game against Gujarat Lions, he faced just a solitary delivery and bowled three fruitless overs. Since Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav have formed a potent spin bowling combination, opportunities for the left-arm spinner have been quite minimal.
Sunrisers are scheduled to take on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on April 25th. In all likelihood, Mustafizur won’t be available for this clash. On the other hand, Shakib could be ready for selection in the Knight Riders' next four matches.
The Ireland tri-series also involving Bangladesh and New Zealand is slated to start on May 12 in Malahide. After the tournament finishes on May 24, Mortaza’s team have a couple of warm-up matches against Pakistan and India on 27th and 30th respectively. They will begin their Champions Trophy campaign against England on June 1st.
As he has only played once in this season, Mustafizur’s absence might not be that big a blow for the Sunrisers. With a fragile fitness history, the seamer has to take some time off before joining the Bangladesh camp. On the other hand, Shakib’s unavailability during the latter part of the IPL season might throw KKR’s plans off track.