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Dhaka Tribune

Sriram: Time right for someone to fill Mahmudullah’s big shoes

Sriram likens Riyad to Dhoni, but said Dhoni too couldn't go on forever

Update : 14 Sep 2022, 08:32 PM

Mahmudullah’s exclusion from the squad for the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup is part of the “succession plan”, informed Bangladesh cricket team's T20 technical consultant, Sridharan Sriram.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board Wednesday announced a 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup, set to take place in Australia in October-November, sans Mahmudullah.

The same team are set to play the tri-nation T20 series involving Pakistan and hosts New Zealand ahead of the ICC event.

It is understood that Mahmudullah, who was Bangladesh T20 captain even last month, knew what was coming his way.

The all-rounder last Tuesday called for a meeting with the coaching panel, a few influential BCB directors, including cricket operations committee chairman Jalal Younus, and national team director Khaled Mahmud.

The group had offered Mahmudullah to take retirement from the shortest format after playing the first game of the tri-series in New Zealand.

Mahmudullah however, rejected the offer and insisted that he will not retire from T20 internationals at least for another couple of years.  

Sriram, who joined the Bangladesh national team last month, compared Mahmudullah’s exclusion from the team to that of former India wicketkeeper-batter MS Dhoni.

“I think our cricket team needs to have a succession plan. I have always equated Mahmudullah with MS Dhoni with the role that he performs for the team. He batted at No 6 just like Dhoni has done for India. He has finished off games. Dhoni cannot go on forever and ever, right?” said former India all-rounder Sriram to the media following the squad announcement at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

“You need to have a succession plan for who after. I think this was the right time to think of someone who can fill in Mahmudullah’s big shoes. You need someone. Unless we start playing players in that role, we won’t find them,” Sriram added.

Speaking of the squad for the T20 World Cup, Sriram said he is happy given that he was consulted with each and every move and decision and that his opinion has been valued.

Bangladesh will head into the world event with an unsettled dressing room and a below par performance in the recently concluded Asia Cup T20.

Bangladesh returned home empty handed after losing two games, to Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, in the group stage of the six-nation tournament.

Despite the early exit from the tournament, Sriram said there were huge positives for the way Bangladesh played. 

“There was a huge positive in the way we played in the Asia Cup. We needed to win both games but it doesn’t mean we didn’t play good cricket. I please request everyone not to be results driven. Results are everything in sport but there needs to be a process and plan in place. As long as we have that direction, that’s all I am accountable for,” said Sriram.


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