Bangladesh’s senior batter Mushfiqur Rahim said he has been dropped, not rested for the three-match T20I series against Pakistan starting on Friday (November 19). While announcing the squad, chief selector Minhajul Abedin said that the 34-year-old has been rested because they want to keep him fresh for the two Tests.
"To be honest I haven't reached the stage where I have to tell someone that I need rest. I am definitely available. Why won't I be? I obviously had a disappointing World Cup. I needed an opportunity to bounce back," Mushfiqur told Channel 24.
"I was asked if I was available, to which I said of course I am available. But I was told that the selection committee, team management, head coach and team director took a collective decision to drop me."
The middle-order batter could only manage 144 runs in eight innings at an average of 20.57 in the recently concluded T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman, as Bangladesh lost all of their five encounters in the Super 12s stage. Skipper Mahmudullah said he too was not aware of Mushfiqur's exclusion from the T20I series.
"If you ask the team management it will be better. I am not sure what Mushfiqur said and can only say something after seeing it. This decision (excluding Mushfiqur from T20) is entirely of the team management and I am not ready to say anything in this regard, but all I can say is that we will miss Mushfiqur (in the series)," he said.
Talking about his position in the team, Mahmudullah said: "It is totally the team management or board's decision (as far as captaincy is concerned). I am not too worried about it. I will continue if they think I am good enough. If I have to say about my position (as the captain) then I will have to say a lot of things and I don't want to say it here.
"I think it's best not to comment (about his career). If I am fit, I can play for a few more years. I haven't thought about these things. I have to overcome the pressure and challenges. It is the same for experienced players or the new ones. I think it is best to focus on trying to perform rather than focus on these things (all the talks going around)."
Mahmudullah also said that he doesn’t want to talk about the World Cup and wants to focus on the future. "I don't want to talk about the World Cup. If we keep talking about what has happened, it might create a negative effect. I am really focused on the T20 match (tomorrow), how I can contribute as an individual player and make sure everyone else contributes too. We are taking everything positively. Definitely, Pakistan is a major T20 side, which makes it a challenge for us.
"There will be challenges with a young team, especially against Pakistan. But I believe that T20 is the type of format where you can expect something good from your best line-up on a good wicket. I know that we couldn't fulfill our expectations in the World Cup. For us, starting well is very important. We need to keep up after picking the momentum."