Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah has made a sudden decision to retire from Test cricket. As per ESPNCricinfo, he took the call to no longer pursue a Test career with the Bangladesh cricket team shortly after stumps on Day 3 of the one-off Test match against Zimbabwe in Harare, leaving his teammates and the Bangladesh Cricket Board in shock.
In what will not prove to be his 50th and final Test, Mahmudullah scored a gritty unbeaten 150 in the first innings Bangladesh hold ascendency in the game, leading Zimbabwe by 237 runs. However, Mahmudullah’s decision to retire from Test cricket has not been well received by the BCB, who feel the call will not affect the team is the wrong way. Nazmul Hassan, president of the BCB confirmed that he was indeed informed of the all-rounder’s decision to retire.
“I have not been informed officially but someone called me on the phone and said he doesn’t want to play Tests anymore,” Hassan told the Bengali daily Prothom Alo. “Apparently, he told the dressing room. I think it is highly unusual, since the match isn’t even over. I think he did it from emotion. Such an announcement will have a negative impact on the team. It is unacceptable. I have no problem if someone doesn’t want to play, but there is no need to create a mess in the middle of a series.”
Hassan informed the decision was all the more surprising given Mahmudullah had in fact told the BCB that he intended to continue playing all three formats. Mahmudullah so far has scored 2914 runs for Bangladesh in 50 Tests at an average of 31.77, which promises to go a bit higher thanks to his knock in the first innings. He has scored 5 centuries and 16 half-centuries and picked up 43 wickets.
“Four or five days before they left for Zimbabwe, we asked all the players to inform us which formats they want to play,” Hassan said. “Riyad wrote that he wants to play all three formats. Regarding Tests he wrote that he wants to play in the format if given the opportunity, which is why we picked him in Tests.
“I called him to my place twice, where he confirmed me that he wants to play Tests. I find it astounding that he is talking about retirement.”