Sridharan Sriram has compared Mahmudullah's present situation with former Indian skipper MS Dhoni, stating contributed greatly to their teams but eventually every career has to end. He spoke of Bangladesh's search for a successor to Mahmudullah and the need to provide younger players opportunities.
Bangladesh will enter the ICC World T20 2022 with a new look just a year on from their previous appearance in the tournament. After being led by Mahmudullah in the 2021 edition while the batting was anchored by veteran Mushfiqur Rahim, the Tigers are ready to ply their trade without the duo in the marquee event Down Under beginning in October. Shakib Al Hasan has returned to captaincy duties for the Asian outfit and will hope to improve upon their dismal returns last year in the United Arab Emirates, where they lost all five games in the Super 12.
While Rahim took matters into his own hands and bid the shortest format adieu, Mahmudullah had to be dropped after failing to show any signs of recovery in form. Following a decent haul of 169 runs averaging nearly 30 in the marquee event last year, the 36-year-old has managed under 200 runs in the last 16 innings at a terrible average of 16.5 and with a high score of 27. His shortcomings in the Asia Cup were the final straw for the team, likely calling an end to his illustrious international career.
"It is never an easy conversation - he is the most-capped T20 player in Bangladesh. I have utmost respect for him. I had to be the bad man to have the conversation. I think it went well," Bangladesh's T20 coach Sridharan Sriram said was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo.
Mahmudullah has over 9,800 runs and 162 wickets across all formats for Bangladesh but the team has simply outgrown him by injecting fresh blood into the squad. Sriram compared the scenario to Mahendra Singh Dhoni's with India a few years back, where the legendary skipper was on the edge for a long period in the wake of Rishabh Pant's emergence before eventually being dropped leading to his retirement.
"I think our cricket team needs to have a succession plan. I have always equated Mahmudullah with MS Dhoni with the role that he performs for the team. He batted at No. 6 just like Dhoni has done for India. He has finished off games. Dhoni cannot go on forever and ever, right?"
"You need to have a succession plan for who (next). I think this was the right time to think of someone who can fill in Mahmudullah's big shoes. You need someone. Unless we start playing players in that role, we won't find them," Sriram concluded.
Bangladesh kick off their World T20 campaign against a qualifier side on October 24 in Hobart.