Less than 48 hours after huffily announcing his retirement from international cricket following his sacking as captain, and his subsequent omission from Bangladesh's side for the tour of Zimbabwe, Khaled Mahmud has said he is willing to play again.

"I have been repeatedly requested to reconsider my decision," he told reporters. "There were requests from every corner that compelled me to give the decision a second thought. Since they still believe in me, I had no other option but to honour their faith. I want to pay back the confidence they showed to me."

His decision to retire was not exactly greeted with dismay in the media or by fans. During his final series in charge, against England at the end of 2003, he was routinely jeered by Bangladesh supporters for his own - and the team's - poor performances.

It seems that the suggestion he should reconsider came from the Bangladesh board. "I believe he has still a lot of cricket left in him and can contribute greatly in the one-day version of the game," Arafat Rahman, chairman of the BCB's development committee, told the Daily Star, but he stopped short of saying that Mahmud had been officially asked to do so. "You can not force someone to change his decision. What we have done is we persuaded him to play on because we believe, for the national interest he should not quit.

"We made an earnest request and Mahmud has agreed to withdraw his resignation," Rahman explained. "We think he has a number of years left as a player to contribute in our cricket. I will request everybody not to embarrass him any more. Since he has agreed to play and contributed so much to Bangladesh cricket, he should be encouraged to do so in the days to come."

Only two days ago Mahmud insisted he was quitting to "avoid further embarrassment". He also took a swipe at his team-mates, adding: "I was not getting enough chances to bat in the nets and also I noticed that the bowlers were acting funny whenever it was my turn."

If, as seems likely, Mahmud had lost the respect of his colleagues as well as the public, then his decision to end one of the briefest of retirements is odd. There have been rumours that some close to the day-to-day running of the side were less than distressed when he quit.

Mahmud might have given the selectors the option to pick him again, but it might just be an offer they can refuse.