On May 29 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Bangladesh’s preparation program for the Afghanistan series began. Assistant coach Nic Pothas was observed directing the batting practice session of the camp where 26 cricketers who are expected to play in both the red-ball and white-ball series against Afghanistan had been summoned.
The veteran Mahmudullah’s name is conspicuously absent from the roster of shortlisted players. The 37-year-old’s final appearance for Bangladesh was in the ODI series against England in March 2023, and he was not selected for the succeeding ODI series against Ireland. In three innings against England, he scored 71 runs averaging 23.66 with a strike rate of 66.98. Notably, these are his only three at-bats for the national team in 2023.
Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal had stated that Mahmudullah would be considered for the no. 7 position in the 2023 ODI World Cup, which is scheduled for October-November in India. President of the BCB Nazmul Hassan Papon echoed Iqbal’s sentiments. Meanwhile, Bangladesh Team manager Nafees Iqbal informed the media that five of the invited 26 cricketers have yet to arrive. Despite being present in the country, Mahmudullah was not summoned.
The Daily Star quoted Nafees as saying, “No (concerning Mahmudullah’s absence from the preparatory camp); otherwise, you would have seen him.”
Afghanistan will interrupt its tour to play India in a white-ball series.
Upon Chandika Hathurusingha’s return to Bangladesh on June 4, the Bangladeshi national team will begin its official training session. Afghanistan will tour Bangladesh for a Test, three-match One-Day International series, and two-match Twenty20 International series. On June 14, the sole Test will begin at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Afghanistan will then travel to India for a white-ball series, before returning to Bangladesh in July for the ODI and T20I legs.