Though premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan chose Indian Premier League (IPL) over national duty in Sri Lanka, Pacer Mustafizur Rahman will walk in a different path. Despite receiving a call from Rajasthan Royals, the Fizz wants to play in the Test series against the Lankans in April.
Even a day ago, the pacer was undecided whether to play in the IPL or for the country. He then met Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president on Monday to take a decision regarding that. The BCB president left the decision on him.
Mustafiz said he would consider the final decision five to six days after leaving for New Zealand. However, it took him only a few hours to decide. Before leaving for New Zealand on Tuesday, Mustafiz told that he would choose to play for country over IPL.
"If BCB keeps me in the Test team then I will play Tests. But if they don't then it's their decision. I'll comply with whatever BCB says," said Mustafizur to the media at the BCB Academy Ground on Tuesday hours before boarding the New Zealand-bound flight at 4:00pm.
The pacer is sceptical about whether he will be in the Test squad as he is not in the red ball contract. However, he played in the first Test of the last Test series against the West Indies. He bowled well in the first innings. Thus, there is no reason not to include him in the squad for the tour of Sri Lanka.Mustafiz's first choice is to play for the country if he is in the team. And even if he is not in the team, he will rely on the BCB’s decision to go to the IPL.
"For me, the first priority is playing for the country. If I am included in the squad for the Sri Lanka Tests then I will play. And If I am not picked in the squad then BCB will inform me that. I'll then ask BCB for the permission to play in IPL and if the BCB decides to give me NOC then I will play in the IPL. But, for me, the country comes first," explained Mustafizur.
According to the BCB, no cricketer will be forced to play for the country from now on. Anyone can decide on their own. However, the board is going to add a clause in the new agreement. If a cricketer does not want play in a particular version for the country, he should inform it in advance. That is how the agreement will be made. After signing a contract for a particular version, they cannot decide not to play anymore.
In the IPL, Rajasthan Royals picked Mustafiz to the team for a base price of Rs 1 crore. He has previously played in the IPL for Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians. The new edition of IPL will start in April. The Bangladesh team is scheduled to travel to Sri Lanka to play a two-match Test series during that period.