Playing for Bangladesh is more important than IPL: Mustafizur

DHAKA — Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman made it clear that he would love to play for Bangladesh rather than playing for lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).

Mustafizur was offered by at least two IPL teams to play for this edition of the tournament which is being held at Dubai due to the COVID-19 fear.

The Cutter Master went unsold in the IPL auction but since the IPL teams lost some players for the COVID-19 reason, they were interested to rope in the Bangladeshi fast bowler.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) denied Mustafizur the No Objection Certificate (NOC), as per the version of Cricket Operations Chairman Akram Khan since the IPL coincides with Tigers tour to Sri Lanka in which they would play a three-match Test series.

Mustafizur Rahman though was not a regular member for red-ball cricket in the last couple of years, according to Akram he is still a vital cog in Bangladesh’s Test cricket plan.

Mustafizur, adorably called as ‘The Fizz’ however said there is no problem for the denial of NOC as he prefers to play for Bangladesh than IPL, which could give him the assurance of a large amount of money.

“IPL is not bigger than my country. So I have no problem being denied the NOC. I have no regret also,” Mustafizur said here today.

Mustafizur though didn’t disclose the name of the two IPL franchisees who offered him but cleared the air by saying that he himself told the franchisees to contact BCB regarding his availability.

“I myself told them to contact BCB since I knew the IPL coincided with the Sri Lanka tour. At this moment, the Sri Lanka tour is important for me as I am trying to make my comeback in the Test team,” Mustafizur who turned 25 today added.

He said he is being showered by the wishes of the friends and family on his 25th birthday.

“I am really overwhelmed by the wishes of the friends, family and the cricketers. But I hoped that I would spend the day on the ground. However that is not to be,” he remarked.

As three supporting staff of Bangladesh team was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual practice session was halted for some days.

“Feel somewhat bad but it is something that we can’t control. I had practiced 12 days and felt that I regained my rhythm,” he pointed out.

Mustafizur said that there is no alternative to playing the match in a bid to assess the condition of a bowler.

“The important thing is to play cricket. To improve our bowling and to regain the rhythm fully, it is important to play matches. Therefore I am really keen to play matches.”BSS