Mahmudullah, like everyone else, faced two options—voluntarily retire or risk rejection.
When players’ careers come to this crossroads, perhaps not everyone’s head and heart are in sync. The command comes from the brain, “Your time is over, now say goodbye.” The heart says, “Don’t look, try a little more.” You can survive.’
Some actually survive for a while longer. Some are rejected brutally. Mahmudullah has no reason not to know this absolute truth. He has a career of so many years. How many people have you seen in front of your eyes at home and abroad, realizing that it is time to leave with honor. Certainly not seen less players to risk being rejected. He may have taken the risk knowingly. But it didn’t work. He was rejected. His omission from the T20 World Cup squad may have sent the message — your time is up in this edition.
Maybe it’s the end. The team has been talking about starting a new path in this edition for quite some time. In that journey, it was found that Mahmudullah and some others will not be able to be passengers. Knowing that, a few days ago, his long-time teammate and perhaps his closest person in the team, Mushfiqur Rahim said goodbye to T20. Mahmudullah himself was moved by that farewell and thanked his dear friend with respect. But Mushfiq will get the chance to officially say goodbye to Mahmudullah like this
Why only Mushfiqur, his other teammate Tamim Iqbal has also retired from T20 himself or Mashrafe bin Mortaza was also an example. When the then coach Chandika Hathurusinghe started thinking about removing Mashrafe from the T20 captaincy, before that idea was implemented, he announced and played the farewell match ‘Mash’.
Mahmudullah was also removed from the T20 captaincy. Mahmudullah could have taken that as a big message. With such bad form. Average of just 16.54 in last 11 matches, strike rate 102.82. Has crossed 20 in two Asia Cup matches, but the strike rate was 92.59 in one match, 122.72 in the other. Not that others have done much better than him. But when the team takes a risk, it will be on the youngsters, not the out-of-form 37-year-old.
When he had time, the team trusted Mahmudullah. That time was also quite long in his career. As a batsman, he is of the classical genre. Such batsmen build the team’s innings usually. But the role of Mahmudullah became the finisher in the limited overs. He will come down to number 6-7, finish the match, that is what he expected. Not that Mahmudullah did not quite fulfill that expectation. His 18-ball match-winning innings of 43 against Sri Lanka in the Nidahas Trophy in 2018 or his man-of-the-match fifty against Zimbabwe in Chittagong the following year will remain examples of his ability. His best time in this edition was actually spent between 2016 and 2018. He batted at a strike rate of around 140 in those years.