Mustafizur's absence will be a big blow to Sunrisers

Mustafizur Rahman made it clear that he is still not too sure whether the BCB will allow him to travel to India for the league due to its tight international fixture.

"We have a long season ahead, and it is important that I remain fit," says Mustafizur Rahman.   -  IPL/SPORTZPICS

When Sunrisers Hyderabad won the Indian Premier League (IPL) title last season, it had also found a new bowling talent in the side — Mustafizur Rahman. But with the 10th edition of the IPL a few days away, the Hyderabad franchise is likely to miss the Bangladeshi pacer. While it is certain that Rahman will be missing the first leg of the cash-rich league, his participation in a couple of matches depends on whether the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) gives a go-ahead.

Speaking to Sportstar from Colombo on Thursday, Mustafizur made it clear that he is still not too sure whether the BCB will allow him to travel to India for the league due to its tight international fixture. “I have learnt a lot from the IPL, but I don’t think I will be able to make it for the tournament this time around. I am waiting for a permission from the Board,” Mustafizur, who is part of the Bangladesh team on the Sri Lanka tour, said.

With Bangladesh's ongoing tour to Sri Lanka getting over only on April 6, the BCB is planning to organise special training camps for the players ahead of the Tri-series in Ireland from May 12. The team sources in Sunrisers Hyderabad have also confirmed the development. “He will be missing the first leg, for sure. We are waiting for an official response from the BCB on his (Mustafizur) availability," a well-placed source said. It is, however, not confirmed whether the defending champion will be looking for a replacement if Mustafizur pulls out.

And, even if the pacer flies down to India, he will only be able to serve the franchise for two weeks. That too, a lot would depend on his fitness. "I am still not sure whether I will be able to play too many games. Even if I go, I will have to return by the first-week of May," the pacer said. It is learnt that Bangladesh's limited-overs captain Mashrafe Mortaza has advised Mustafizur to skip the cash-rich league, keeping a long season in mind. “I am yet to get back my rhythm, so Mashrafe bhai  had suggested that I should skip the IPL. I am seriously considering his advice. We have a long season ahead, and it is important that I remain fit,” Mustafizur, who impressed the Indian cricket fans last year with his cutters, said.

After a remarkable outing in the international arena last season, Mustafizur suffered an injury, for which he had to cut short his English county stint with Sussex. “I am trying hard to regain the lost touch, but I am still not happy with my performance. Before the Ireland tour, I have to be absolutely ready,” the 21-year-old said.

The ongoing ODI series against Sri Lanka, too, hasn’t been quite impressive for the Bangladeshi bowler. In the rain-affected second ODI in Dambulla on Tuesday, Mustafizur had woeful bowling figures — conceding 60 runs in eight overs. “I couldn’t sleep properly that day. I was mentally down,” Mustafizur said about that game. But then, with bowling coach Courtney Walsh around, the youngster is leaving no stone unturned to regain the old rhythm. “Walsh has given me quite a few suggestions, and I am trying to follow them. I have to return to form,” Mustafizur said.

Though he could miss the IPL action this season, Mustafizur will be keeping an eye on his team-mates' performance. “I learnt so much from David Warner and Yuvraj Singh. It is a good team, and I wish I am there,” a rather emotional Mustafizur said.

Like the Hyderabad fans, the pacer too has his fingers crossed!