Mushfiqur Rahim to skip West Indies tour for Hajj pilgrimage

Another blow for Bangladesh with four bowlers already struggling with injuries

The BCB has granted leave to Mushfiqur Rahim for Bangladesh’s upcoming tour of West Indies, so that he can perform Hajj in July. This year’s Islamic pilgrimage is in July, for which Mushfiqur is likely to travel to Saudi Arabia on June 22.

“He informed us before the Sri Lanka series that he wants to perform Hajj this year,” Jalal Yunus, BCB’s cricket operations chairman, said. “When he got confirmation, he gave us a letter that he wanted leave. We have granted him the time. We had an initial thought that he might be available for part of the tour but he is off for the whole tour.”

Bangladesh are likely to travel to the West Indies on June 5. ESPNcricinfo understands that they will play the two Tests against West Indies, in Antigua and St Lucia, from June 16. The T20Is are from July 2 to 6 while the ODIs are from July 10 to 16. Only the Test series is part of the World Test Championship; the ODIs are not part of the Super League.

Mushfiqur, Bangladesh’s most capped Test cricketer, became the first from the team to reach 5,000 runs in the format in the Chattogram Test last week. Bangladesh therefore will miss the batter who was in their last three West Indies tours.

The team are already without four key bowlers, all out with injuries. Taskin Ahmed is still rehabilitating a shoulder injury while Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Shoriful Islam and Nayeem Hasan all have hand injuries.

The Bangladesh selectors haven’t yet named any of the three squads, but it is very likely that they have their hands full to replace at least these five cricketers. Mushfiqur these days is a middle-order batter who only keeps wickets in the white-ball format, but it will be tough for them to find his replacement in any of the three formats.