Bangladesh men's team director Khaled Mahmud has questioned Mustafizur Rahman's lack of willingness to play Test cricket. The former Bangladesh skipper feels the left-arm seamer has to play Tests because he is at his peak and shouldn't pick and choose.
Rahman is currently playing in the IPL 2022, plying his trade for the Delhi Capitals, having taken eight wickets in as many games. BCB gave the 26-year-old the clearance to play in the competition when Bangladesh were playing Tests in South Africa. Furthermore, the players signed central contracts by choosing their format.
Mahmud stated in a press briefing (as reported by ESPNCricinfo) that BCB director Nazmul Hassan's message to pick and choose formats was only for senior players. The 50-year-old believes that unlike Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, and Mushfiqur Rahim, Rahman is not a senior player and should play Tests.
"Papon bhai said that the players can discuss which format they want to play but this was only applicable to the senior players, not all players. Would it be okay if Joy said that he doesn't want to play Tests? How old is Mustafiz? How long has he been playing for? He is not Shakib, Tamim, Mashrafe, or Mushfiq. These players have provided service for many years. I don't know why Mustafiz doesn't want to play Tests. The board should decide which format a player plays."
Mustafizur Rahman had stated back in April that it's important for him to stay healthy and the best way is to pick and choose formats. The Satkhira-born player declared that his primary focus is on white-ball cricket to prolong his career as most players do.
Mustafizur Rahman must play Tests - Khaled Mahmud
Mahmud thinks that Mustafizur Rahman must play at least six to eight Tests in a year as he doesn't have bio-bubbles to deal with anymore. The former Bangladesh Test cricketer claimed that if Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Ahmed can feature in Tests, the left-arm seamer should too.
"Shakib and Tamim are 34-35 years old. They deserve breaks. But Litton Das doesn't need breaks. When he becomes Shakib or Tamim, I will say that he deserves rest. Mustafiz must play Tests. It is his peak time. I am not saying he should play all the Tests but he should definitely be available for six to eight matches per year. I used to hear that he doesn't want to play due to bio-bubbles, but now things have changed so that can't be an excuse anymore. If Taskin and Shoriful can play, he should too."
Meanwhile, Bangladesh will play two Tests against Sri Lanka, the first of which starts on May 15th in Chattogram. However, Rahman is not part of the hosts' squad.