Mashrafe Highlights Mahmudullah's Role in Bangladesh Team
Former captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza praised Mahmudullah Riyad's remarkable performances. Mashrafe highlighted the importance of Mahmudullah’s role in the upcoming Asia Cup and World Cup for the Bangladesh team. Mashrafe also acknowledged Mahmudullah's habit of excelling in major tournaments, having witnessed his reliability with the bat in two significant events during his captaincy.
"(Mahmudullah) Riyad performs, Riyad's performance is always impactful" - said former captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza about the importance of Mahmudullah Riyad in the upcoming Asia Cup and World Cup team.
The first instance was in the ICC Champions Trophy of 2015 when Mahmudullah played a pivotal innings against New Zealand. However, it was his epic knock against England in the World Cup held in Adelaide the same year that truly captivated cricket enthusiasts worldwide. This extraordinary performance led Bangladesh to a historic victory, making Mahmudullah the first Bangladeshi batsman to score a century in a World Cup match. Moreover, in the subsequent game against New Zealand, he once again showcased his brilliance with the bat, scoring yet another century, though Bangladesh couldn't secure a win this time.
Furthermore, Mahmudullah formed a record partnership with Shakib Al Hasan in the Champions Trophy, where both of them achieved the remarkable feat of scoring centuries in the same match. Such consistent and impactful performances established Mahmudullah as a key player in the Bangladesh cricket team.
Speaking to the media, Mashrafe lauded Mahmudullah's experience, particularly in ICC tournaments, highlighting that he has always delivered during crucial matches. He expressed confidence that the team management, including coaches, captains, and selectors, would undoubtedly take Mahmudullah's impressive track record into consideration while making their decisions regarding the team composition.
However, Mashrafe also highlighted that selection alone would not guarantee success; Mahmudullah needed to maintain his form and perform well on the field to contribute effectively to the team's success. This meant that even after being selected, Mahmudullah would have to continue giving his best efforts to make a lasting impact in the tournaments.
Mahmudullah's significance on the grand stage extended far beyond just two centuries. Looking back at his previous performances in major competitions, his statistics spoke volumes about his ability to perform under pressure. In the 2015 World Cup, Mahmudullah scored a total of 365 runs, including two centuries and a fifty, making him the highest run-scorer among Bangladeshi batters and the ninth-highest overall in the tournament. Similarly, in the 2019 World Cup, he amassed 219 runs in six innings across seven matches. And during the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017, he notched up 137 runs, including one century in four matches.
Mashrafe's admiration for Mahmudullah extended beyond his tournament performances, as he reflected on Mahmudullah's career, labeling him as a fighter who had consistently contributed to the country. Mashrafe's words were filled with respect and admiration for his fellow teammate, underscoring the immense impact Mahmudullah had made throughout his cricket career.
"What Mahmudullah Riyad has done in his entire career is nothing to describe separately, we all know. He is a fighter; he has done a lot for the country. I don't have anything else to say,” Mashrafe said.