Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batter Mushfiqur Rahim retires from T20Is to ‘focus on Test and ODI formats’

Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batter Mushfiqur Rahim retires from T20Is to 'focus on Test and ODI formats'
Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batter Mushfiqur Rahim has announced his retirement from T20Is to “focus on Test and ODI formats of the game”, he wrote on his official Facebook page on Sunday noon. His decision comes following Bangladesh’s exit from the ongoing Asia Cup, where they lost both group stage games to Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

“Today, I am announcing my retirement from T20 Internationals,” he wrote. “I will proudly continue to represent Bangladesh in Test and ODI formats. I am hopeful that I can bring success for our nation in these two formats. I will continue to take part in Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and other franchise tournaments.”

Mushfiqur’s scores of 4 and 1, and the dropped catch against Sri Lanka, brought back the spotlight on his place in the team in the shortest format.

Given his poor form in T20Is, the BCB were reportedly prepared to drop Mushfiqur from Bangladesh’s T20 World Cup plans. The Bangladesh contingent will be leaving home later this month to play in a T20 tri-series against New Zealand and Pakistan in New Zealand, with the same team expected to be announced for the T20 World Cup in Australia next month.

Mushfiqur had endured a poor run of form in T20Is for nearly three years now, having scored only two half-centuries since November 2019. At last year’s T20 World Cup, he made 144 runs in eight innings, at a strike rate of 113.38. He was “rested” for the following T20I series against Pakistan. However, he had claimed that he was dropped, after which he was summoned to a meeting by the BCB.

He then played a single T20I against Afghanistan before skipping the West Indies tour for personal reasons. He was rested again for the T20Is against Zimbabwe in July, before being picked again for the Asia Cup. Mushfiqur’s wicketkeeping has also come under criticism in recent times.

However, he has been a consistent performer in both Tests and ODIs. During the same period of his T20I decline, Mushfiqur has averaged 54.81 in 15 Tests, scoring three centuries including a double-hundred since November 2019. He has always continued as an ODI mainstay, averaging 42.12 in 20 matches.

Mushfiqur becomes the second player from Bangladesh to retire from the shortest format following Tamim Iqbal’s retirement in July.

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