The tone set by Mahmudullah's absence for the next generation of leaders

DailyStar || Shining BD

Published: 5/30/2023 7:43:28 AM

Mahmudullah Riyad was noticeably absent from the first official camp for the Afghanistan series, which was attended by players from both the red-ball and white-ball formats. Liton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, and Towhid Hridoy, among others, were present, and if the image above is any indication, they are the ones guiding a younger group for the upcoming quests, with the World Cup being the most significant.

Although Mahmudullah had already requested a leave of absence to perform the Hajj, the team management had assembled a preliminary squad of up to 26 players. Reporters were informed by team manager Nafees Iqbal that Mahmudullah was absent from the camp yesterday. When asked if Mahmudullah was present, Nafees responded, "No, otherwise you would have seen him."

According to yesterday's media statement from Jalal Yunus, chairman of cricket operations, Mahmudullah had requested a vacation from June 22 through July 5. After Hajj, he will join the camp, according to Jalal. Given the situation, it is unlikely that will happen.

Afghanistan will arrive on July 1 to play the ODI and T20 series as part of their two-part tour. Mahmudullah will miss the training camp for the only format for which he is still available, the 50-over format, because the ODI series starts on July 5. The veteran thus appears to be out of the upcoming ODI series against Afghanistan even before the squad announcement.

It's possible that the cricketer was already aware of his chances. He had requested a vacation in advance because he was going to the Hajj. You must start making preparations for the Hajj early, as you are aware. Since the schedule was drawn a while ago, there is no chance that he will be unaware of the upcoming series. According to a source close to the team management, his application has been approved, The Daily Star was informed yesterday.

Despite frequent praise from team management sources for Mahmudullah's "experience," dropping him for the last few series has already established a tone. Hridoy and others have responded to the team's request for a more attack-focused strategy. Mushfiqur Rahim has been a revelation at number six, a position he has previously played, while Afif Hossain, Yasir Ali, and Mosaddek Hossain are also on the team management's radar.

Mahmudullah's own recent knocks, at the age of 37, have lacked the incisiveness he displayed in his prime. The emphasis the team management has placed on the necessary approach in ODIs has overcome the need for the experience factor, which led to the player's dismissal after the England series despite some crucial hits against India and England. His fielding contribution and bowling performance have also come under scrutiny and did not serve him well.

Mahmudullah's international career appears to be over now that the camp has officially begun, barring any unforeseen events in team selection, which are still somewhat common in Bangladesh cricket.

The team will start preparing separately for the white-ball and red-ball formats once the Test team is announced. Nic Pothas is currently in charge of the training session at Mirpur until head coach Chandika Hathurusingha arrives on June 3.

Bangladesh has been attempting to play in a different gear across all formats, and the younger groups are making up a significant portion of the team's core. With Chandika in charge, there seems to be a greater emphasis on strategy and more responsibility placed on the young guns.

Shining BD