He might have to stay on in the team’s bubble in Zimbabwe to be eligible for the full series
Mushfiqur Rahim could be one of two players asked to stay back with the Bangladesh contingent after their ODI series against Zimbabwe, to avoid a longer quarantine period ahead of their T20I series against Australia next month. Rahim had been granted a leave by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) after he had requested to skip the T20Is against Zimbabwe.
The BCB and Cricket Australia (CA) had agreed on the condition that both sets of players must be in quarantine ten days before entering the tour’s bio-bubble in Dhaka. Being in the Harare bio-bubble counts as being in this quarantine, which means Rahim’s personal break – which was supposed to be from July 22 – wouldn’t allow him to enter the Bangladesh-Australia bio-bubble until the day of the first T20I between the two sides, proposed to be in the first week of August.
Chief selector Minhajul Abedin said that they have to keep the Australia series quarantine in mind, but said a final decision will be taken after discussions with the team management in Harare. Any player on the current Zimbabwe tour who wants to be available for the full Australia series has to remain in Zimbabwe till July 27.
“Everyone has to be in quarantine for ten plays to play in the Australia series,” Abedin told ESPNcricinfo. “We have planned to keep two players from the ODI side that’s playing against Zimbabwe, with the T20I side, just in case. We are not taking any chances because there is always the chance of someone getting sick.
“After discussion with the team management, we will finalise on July 15 about whether Mushfiq will remain in Zimbabwe. Mushfiq wanted a break from the bio-bubble which is completely understandable. It is very difficult to live inside a bio-bubble. Even we have got tired staying at home, and imagine how the players feel being in hotels for such long periods.”
Bangladesh play the ODI series against Zimbabwe from July 16 to 20. The T20Is are from July 23 to 27, and the return flight will bring them home on July 29. Australia, currently in the West Indies, are likely to arrive in Dhaka on July 27 after their last match on that tour on July 25.
Apart from the ten-day quarantine, the BCB have already agreed to other requests from, CA including the visitors avoiding the airport hallrooms, stricter control in the team hotel, and playing all five T20Is in Dhaka.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84