Bangladesh ODI cricket team’s skipper Mashrafe Mortaza has defended his compatriot Mushfiqur Rahim after the latter refused to travel to Pakistan for the matches on away turf.
Bangladesh is due to play a One-off ODI and their second Test match against Pakistan in April. However, their first-choice wicketkeeper-batsman, Rahim has refused to travel for the matches that will be played at National Stadium, Karachi.
After the recent controversy, surrounding Rahim, he has got the backing of his skipper Mortaza, who said he respects the decision ‘one hundred per cent.’
No player should be forced to tour a country unwillingly: Mashrafe Mortaza defends Mushfiqur Rahim
Mortaza stepped up to his compatriot’s defence whilst also stating that he too is contemplating on whether to go to Pakistan or not.
“I hundred per cent respect Mushfiqur’s decision. He got the option from the board – someone can skip the tour if he does not wish to go,” the 36-year-old pacer was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
He continued, “When the team management or the selectors sit with the players, they need to ask every single player if he is willing to go. If I am considered in the team, I will also let them know if I will go or not.”
Earlier, Mortaza himself was in the midst of a controversy after lashing out at a reporter who had questioned his form at the 2019 ODI World Cup.
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Rahim’s refusal came after the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan stated that the 32-year-old wicketkeeper was ‘contract-bound to tour Pakistan’.
In an earlier interview though, Rahim asserted that he made his stance very clear to the BCB.
“I made my stance clear about Pakistan, and they [BCB have] also accepted it,” he had said.
Meanwhile, the ODI match between Pakistan and Bangladesh is scheduled for 3rd April, while the second Test will begin from 5th April onwards.