Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim has been passed fit by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB)'s chief physician Dr Debashis Roy, following a hamstring injury. He will be available for the domestic Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL) match that begins on February 07, as he had opted out of touring Pakistan, report agencies.
Roy also said Imrul Kayes has recovered from his calf injury. Both Kayes and Rahim undertook fitness tests on Tuesday.
"Mushfiqur Rahim and Imrul have been struggling with hamstring and calf muscle. They were undergoing rehab programmes," Roy said.
"Mushfiqur had a grade-one injury, so we had hoped that he would recover by the second week of February. We had anticipated that Imrul would need one more week. Today they both passed the tests conducted by our physio and trainer. They are both fit to play."
Rahim's recovery means that he is also available for the one-off Test against Zimbabwe in late February. If he is to play that match, Bangladesh will have to make room for him in the squad that was announced earlier in the week for the Rawalpindi Test, which begins on February 07.
Head coach Russell Domingo had indicated earlier that whoever takes Rahim's place may have to make room for the more experienced campaigner when he's back.
"I am under the impression that this is the squad for this one Test match [against Pakistan]. We will re-evaluate once we get back [from Pakistan]," Domingo had said.
"You have to remember that Mushfiq got runs in the last Test, but we also need to consider the fact that it is hard to pick a batting line-up, change it for one Test, and then change it again for the third Test. I want to give guys a run, but we also need to consider that Mushfiq was our best player in India."
There however remains some confusion over Rahim's selection for the Zimbabwe Test, as chief selector Minhajul Abedin had reportedly said on Sunday, the day after the Rawalpindi Test squad was announced, that Rahim has to prove himself in domestic cricket to get picked.
Mushfiqur Rahim brushed aside speculations regarding his availability for the upcoming home series against Zimbabwe, despite the doubts and eyebrows raised about his participation in the series.
Rahim had pulled out of the Pakistan tour due to security reasons and chief selector Minhajul Abedin had stated that Bangladesh will retain the same squad they announced for the first Test against Pakistan for both the Zimbabwe Test and the second Test against Pakistan.
"There is no reason why I won't play against Zimbabwe. I am preparing myself accordingly. I will be fit and will be available for selection. Whether I will be selected or not is not in my hands but I will try to play against Zimbabwe and not only the Test but we have a full-fledged series against Zimbabwe and I will try to be available for all the formats. I will try to do well if I get selected," Mushfiqur told Cricbuzz on Monday.
It has been reported in some quarters that the BCB is unhappy with Rahim pulling out of the Pakistan tour, and that he isn't an automatic choice in the team anymore.
Rahim, however, isn't too worried about it, insisting that he'll prove his value to the team. "I am not a big cricketer like Tamim and Shakib and I always think myself as a small player," said Rahim.
Meanwhile ,Shadman Islam, the left-hand opener, will probably need surgery on his wrist. He may be sent to Australia later this month for the same.
Imrul Kayes — File Photo