Mustafizur Rahman all set to play for Sussex after getting long-awaited visa clearance
Bangladesh's young fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman is all set to fly to England on Wednesday morning to complete his much-awaited move to County side Sussex after the long wait for a visa to play in the United Kingdom finally ended, earlier on Tuesday.
While they were concerns over his fitness that put the proposed move in doubt earlier, the visa delay came in very much unexpected but the 20-year-old is thrilled at finally getting the all-clear to get his first taste of English conditions.
The left-arm pacer has made a huge impact in international cricket ever since making his debut against India during a three-match ODI series in 2015. 26 wickets in 9 ODIs at an average of 12.34 and 22 T20I wickets from 13 matches at an average of 13.95 are stats which speaks volume of Rahman’s talents and he enhanced his reputation further during the 2016 IPL by grabbing the ‘Emerging Player of the Tournament’ award.
However, playing almost non-stop cricket since making his debut did take a toll on his body with niggling injuries cropping up during the latter stages of the IPL and he took some well-needed rest after the culmination of the tournament to regain full fitness.
While the team physio had wanted the youngster to take an extended rest, it was Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha whose words that playing a season of cricket in England will benefit him that made Rahman take the call to represent Sussex.
Speaking on July 1, he had said: "It will be great if I can go to Sussex. England comes first (when talking about) cricket, so it will definitely feel good to be there. If I am given the opportunity I will try to give my best."
Though he had initially planned to leave Dhaka on July 13, the visa issue has meant a one-week delay though Mudtafizur will still have the opportunity to play at least seven ODI and T20 games for Sussex. His first game for the English side is expected to be the NatWest T20 Blast game against Essex in Chelmsford, on July 21.
The Bangladesh fast bowler will be Sussex’s second overseas player as they already have New Zealand’s Ross Taylor in their ranks. Mustafizur’s stay in England could get extended if Sussex manage to progress to the latter stages of the Royal One-Day Cup and the Natwest T20 Blast.
The pacer would be hoping to help his side all he can so that he makes up for lost time and experience and realise his dream of playing in the birthplace of the Gentleman’s Game.