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BCB uncertain about Mushtaq Ahmed’s availability

Sports Desk: Bangladesh’s spin bowling consultant Mushtaq Ahmed is keen to return to Tigers’ dressing room in the coming days after completing his commitments that he agreed to before inking the deal with Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

The former Pakistani spinner joined the Bangladesh national team ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 and guided them in the showpiece event, but his recent decision to join England U-19s as a spin consultant raised quite a few eyebrows.

BCB was preparing to renew his contract due to his impressive guidelines during the shorter format of the global event where Bangladesh leg spinner Rishad Hossain hogged the spotlight, picking 14 wickets.

When contacted by the Daily Sun on Monday, Mushtaq insisted that he is hoping to join Bangladesh in the coming days as both parties are having positive discussions but not at the expense of compromising his previous commitments. “I had a great time with the Bangladesh team. They are a very good bunch of guys and they are a very talented team and I believe they can challenge anyone and they have the ability to win any matches against any other team and I’m really very excited and I had a great time,” said Mushtaq. “I believe that before I signed, I did my work with all the cricketers of Bangladesh and I think they are very talented cricketers all they just need to have belief and confidence and they can challenge any team and I believe they can change that environment and hopefully can be a very good team, especially with the white-ball cricket,” he added. “I already made some commitments before I signed with Bangladesh till the world cup (T20) and I am looking forward to having a great time again In sha Allah,” he further added. “My man is talking with the cricket Board in Bangladesh and I already signed few commitments as a consultant from some different teams, different counties and different franchises so I have to fulfil that commitment and after December hopefully I will have more free time and so yes everything is ok very positive and looking forward to catch up you guys again In Sha Allah,” he added. BCB echoed the same sentiment adding that as they are having positive negotiations, they are not looking for any other alternatives. “I cannot say it specifically at the moment (whether he is available during the Pakistan series or not). According to the communication we had with Mushtaq we wanted a specific number of days from him but he could not give that because he had previous commitments like he had an agreement with England Cricket Board while there are other commitments as well and due to that we had made the agreement with him till T20 World Cup,” BCB Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Nizamuddin Chowdhury told reporters at the Sher-e-Bangla National on this day.

“I spoke with him even today (Monday) and he has some previous agreement till December and apart from that period (when he will be busy with other assignments) the time he will have he will give it to Bangladesh,” he added. “We are talking with him on long-term basis and we provided him with the FTP that is locked till 2027 and he is looking at it and will get back to us soon. In the last press conference, our board president said that we are keen to have him and because we are getting a positive result from him, we are only thinking about him (as spin consultant),” he said.  “After December when we will have him for a long-term basis, we would like to have him for a specific number of days and he can work elsewhere when he is not engaged with us,” he added. Another BCB official insisted that if Mushtaq can make some time in between his current schedule that runs till December they can offer him for short stint to help the national cricketers though it looks highly unlikely at the moment. If Mushtaq cannot make time before December, in that case, he will miss Bangladesh’s tour of Pakistan, India, South Africa and West Indies. However, he is likely to be part of the Bangladesh squad that will be prepared to take part in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy 2025, scheduled to be held on 19 February-9 March in Pakistan.

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