Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman informed the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) that he has decided to opt out of the central contract for Test cricket owing to the difficulties in bio-bubbles.
On September 1, the BCB introduced a format-wise contract this year without handing Rahman the contract for the longest format of the game. The board has handed the contract to 24 players, nine of whom have received the contract for the Test cricket, including Tamim Iqbal, Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Mominul Haque, Abu Jayed, Najmul Hossain, Shadman Islam, Saif Hassan, and Ebadot Hossain.
The 25-year old has been spending excessively long durations in bio-bubbles this year owing to a packed schedule. He even expressed his discomfort regarding the same earlier this year. He has been playing continuously without breaks this year, except for some short breaks. He has been involved in the national assignments as well as the first leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 before it was postponed due to the rising cases of Covid-19 among players.
Mustafizur Rahman is currently involved in the ongoing five-match T20I series against New Zealand. After completing the series, he will again have to undergo a mandatory quarantine period after reaching the UAE for the second leg of IPL 2021. He would have to undergo another quarantine period ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
BCB Cricket Operations chairman and former Bangladesh Team captain Akram Khan confirmed the unavailability of Mustafizur Rahman for the Tests.
“Mustafizur is not interested to take part in Tests at the moment. He told us that it is difficult for him to concentrate on Tests, playing it under bio-bubble and so he does not want to take part in Tests at the moment. We have taken that decision very positively and have discussed it and accepted his request because he is a very important player for Bangladesh in the white-ball format,” Akram Khan told reporters.
Akram further explained the BCB’s new format-based central contract and said, “We have introduced format-wise contract because there are cricketers like Nasum and Shamim who are only part of T20s. Earlier if it was the white-ball that implied ODIs and T20s but now a new group is coming up who are only playing in T20s.”
“We have made different payment slabs based upon performance and we kept that so that there is competition between cricketers. When a cricketer is coming to Test from T20s there is a raise and similarly, when he is coming to ODIs there is some raise so players will be eager to perform so that he can be considered across formats.”
Mustafizur Rahman is one of the most robust bowlers of the Bangladesh men’s team. He has represented the team in 68 ODIs, aggregating 127 wickets at an average of 22.83. He has played 49 matches, bagging 71 wickets at an overage of 18.91 and 14 Tests clinching 30 wickets in them.
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