T20 World Cup: 'Slight back pain' to keep Mahmudullah out of Bangladesh's first warm-up match
Mustafizur Rahman has linked up with the team following Rajasthan Royals' exit from the IPL
Mahmudullah, Bangladesh's T20I captain, will miss his side's first warm-up match ahead of the T20 World Cup, against Sri Lanka tomorrow in Abu Dhabi, as a precautionary measure after he complained of a "slight back pain". Selector Habibul Bashar explained that the plan is to keep the senior batter fresh for their tournament opener, a first-round game on October 17 in Al Amerat against Scotland.
"[Mahmudullah] has a slight back pain," Bashar said. "He won't have time to rest during the tournament when there will be back-to-back matches. So we are not taking any risks now. He will not play tomorrow's match; we will give him a bit of time. He is a seasoned player, so he can recover with a bit of rest, and prepare for the tournament."
Bangladesh, who couldn't earn a direct ticket to the main competition and must now qualify from the eight-team first round, have another pre-tournament warm-up match lined up, against Ireland, also in Abu Dhabi, on October 14. They will then travel to Oman to take on Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman in Group B, from which the top-two teams will qualify for the Super 12 round.
Bashar expressed his satisfaction with the way the team has settled down after becoming the first to arrive in the region for the World Cup, in early October. Bangladesh held their training camp in Al Amerat, where they also played a match against Oman A last week.
"While on tour, the players' attitude is an important aspect; from what I have seen so far, they are confident. Of course things will be different during the main competition, but we needed this confidence ahead of the tournament"Habibul Bashar
"The wickets are fresh in Oman. It hasn't held a lot of matches. They are true wickets," Bashar said. "The bowlers get good purchase, and it is good for batting. Spinners won't get much turn. There's considerable dew in the evenings, so that was also important information for us.
"It's quite hot during the day, but the weather is better in the evening. The conditions aren't too different from our country. The wickets are different from Abu Dhabi or Dubai, where the IPL is being played. We will know more about Abu Dhabi when we play the practice matches there.
"Everyone seems to be confident. We came to Oman early to learn about the conditions. While on tour, the players' attitude is an important aspect; from what I have seen so far, they are confident. Of course things will be different during the main competition, but we needed this confidence ahead of the tournament. Everyone is using their time well and ensuring they get the best out of the great facilities."
Mustafizur Rahman, who was in the IPL playing for Rajasthan Royals, has linked up with the Bangladesh side, and Shakib Al Hasan will do the same after his commitments with Kolkata Knight Riders are over.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84