Afghanistan vs Bangladesh 2018: Mustafizur ruled out of series with a toe injury
What's the story?
There's bad news for Bangladesh ahead of the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan as pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman has been ruled out of the series with a toe injury.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) officials confirmed about Mustafizur's unavailability and revealed that the management was yet to decide on a replacement.
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The Bangladesh team will travel to India on Tuesday to play the series against Afghanistan, scheduled at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium at Dehradun on June 3, 5 and 7. In a series where Afghanistan are the favourites to win, frontline bowlers Rubel Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman were counted upon the most by coach Courtney Walsh.
In the press conference on Sunday, Walsh appeared certain on Rubel coming back to winning ways after the disastrous last over in the final of the Nihadas trophy that cost Bangladesh the game and the cup.
Mustafizur, meanwhile, had played in the IPL for Mumbai Indians, and in the seven games he featured before he injured his toe, picked up seven wickets at an economy of 8.36.
According to BCB physician Debashish Chowdhury, Mustafizur suffered the injury during the recent Indian Premier League and would require at least two to three weeks to return to full fitness. "Mustafizur damaged the thumb on his left leg during IPL and would not be travelling with the team," Chowdhury stated on Monday, June 28.
The BCB spokesman confirmed that an X-Ray was conducted on Mustafizur's toe with further tests scheduled to be carried out on Tuesday.
During the pre-series official press conference on Sunday, interim head coach Courtney Walsh had given an insight into Mustafizur's injury for the first time. At that time, it was hoped that a few days of rest would allow him to play some part in the series.
As BCB officials themselves say, they have not found an ideal replacement for Fizz, so things seem to have gotten easier for the Afghans. Taijul Islam is the most prominent name in the list of possible replacements, but it is up to the BCB to take a decision regarding the matter, as soon as possible.
Later this June, Bangladesh is bound to a tour to West Indies to play two Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is. Mustafizur might be available by then, but as of now, nothing can be established with certainty.
With the Afghans already emerging as the favourites for the series, the injury will compound Bangladesh's worries. Mustafizur's impact up front and towards the fag end of the innings is pretty immense, so the Tigers will miss him.