Hours after Bangladesh team manager Khaled Mahmud confirmed that allrounder Mahmudullah would not be a part of the playing XI for the Colombo Test and would fly home on the eve of the match, BCB president Nazmul Hassan claimed the player's return would be a personal decision and not one taken by the team management.
The Test, which begins on March 15 in Colombo, will be Bangladesh's 100th and Mahmud had said that given the match would be an emotional, landmark occasion, it was decided not to keep a high-profile, senior player sitting on the bench.
Hassan said the decision to either stay in Colombo or return to Dhaka was up to Mahmudullah.
"It is totally up to him [Mahmudullah], whether he wants to stay [in Colombo] or return [to Dhaka]," Hassan said. "There's no question about sending him home by us or the team management, because the ODIs are coming up. I am sure he is supposed to stay back. At least I would have known if something like that had happened."
Mahmud later confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that Mahmudullah could return to Dhaka, either on March 14 or 15, depending on the availability of an air ticket. Sources, however, indicate that Mahmudullah's likely return will be discussed after Hassan arrives in Colombo on Tuesday.
Mahmudullah made scores of 8 and 0 in Bangladesh's loss in Galle, and bowled just two overs of his offspin. He had made a half-century in the one-off Test in India before this, but before that had gone ten innings without getting to a fifty.
He was at the ground with the team at practice today and took part in the warm-ups, but did not train thereafter.
Hassan also backed Mahmudullah's selection for the three ODIs and two T20Is that follow. The ODI series starts from March 25, while the two T20Is will be played on April 4 and 6.
"The ODI team isn't submitted to me yet," Hassan said. "Whether he will play or not, but I don't think anyone will drop him from the squad without talking to me first.
"He is a senior player who has made a lot of contribution. I don't see any possibility of him being dropped from the squad."