On September 1, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) introduced a format-wise contract without handing one to Mustafizur Rahman for Test cricket. According to the board, the 25-year-old ace pacer has informed about his unavailability due to increased time spent in the bio-bubbles.
Mustafizur Rahman had expressed his discomfort of playing continuous cricket in the bio-bubbles, now a norm during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He will then be entering another bubble for Bangladesh during the T20 World Cup.
Akram Khan, the former Bangladesh captain and BCB cricket operations chairman, confirmed the development surrounding Mustafizur Rahman’s Test contract and told reporters on Thursday:
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.”
Mustafizur Rahman, one of the best bowlers in white-ball formats, has been a force behind Bangladesh’s success in recent years. The left-arm pacer has 127 wickets from 68 ODIs at an average of 22.83. In T20Is, he has 71 wickets from 49 matches at an average of 18.91.
He was one of the stars for Bangladesh in their 4-1 win in the T20Is against Australia last month. In fact, he has been exceptional in the shortest format in 2021, bagging 13 wickets from eight T20Is at an average of 11.69 and an economy rate of 5.46.
Akram Khan explains Bangladesh’s new contract system
Akram Khan further explained the need for a new format-wise contract system for Bangladesh, keeping in mind players like Nasum Ahmed and Shamim Hossain, who are only a part of the T20I squad.
“We have introduced format wise contract because there are cricketers like Nasum and Shamim who are only part of T20s. Earlier if it was white ball that implied ODIs and T20s but now a new group is coming up who are only playing in T20s.”
Akram Khan added:
“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.”
Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Liton Das, Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam are the only five players who have been handed a contract across all three formats.