Mahmudullah Riyad’s Test career took a blow when he was dropped from the Sri Lanka series after the Galle Test. Bangladesh went on to win the second Test –a victory to win in their 100th Test match but Riyad was not part of the side that achieved the landmark Test victory.
That was in March this year and as fate would have it, Mahmudullah has been handed the vice captaincy role and his first assignment would once again be the Lankans.
What does Riyad feel about the situation? Was he surprised that he was handed the vice-captaincy role after previously being dropped due to his performances? “The first thing is that I will have to perform as a cricketer,” Mahmudullah said. The cricketer suggested that he did not think of the circumstances too deeply and all he wants is to keep working on his strengths and weaknesses. He believes that with the right mindset, he will be able to give himself a better chance of performing well.
The cricketer has matured in leaps and bounds since the last time he was a vice-captain and has the potential to be able to shoulder the responsibility with calm and confidence.
“I am captaining regularly in the domestic circuit. So that gave me some experience.”
Mahmudullah reiterated that he was happy to assume the role of vice-captain and said that he wanted to fulfil the role to the best of his abilities.
“It is every cricketer’s dream to represent his nation or to represent his team,” Mahmudullah added.
He was vice-captain in 2011 under then captain Mushfiqur Rahim. He suggested that he did not give up the role during his previous tenure and said: “It’s not true that I quit the role previously. At that time BCB did what they felt was best and it was their decision. I have been brought back into the role and I want to fulfil my role in collaboration with the captain and the senior players of the team.”
Mahmudullah suggested that the time was right to take on the challenges of the role as Bangladesh team’s vice-captain as the team is working well as a unit.
“As a unit we are working well”, Riyad said and felt that the senior players have matured and even the junior players are more responsible with their roles.
Chandika Hathurusinghe handed over his resignation mid way through the South Africa tour and Bangladesh are likely play the Sri Lanka series without a head coach.
Asked whether playing the series without a coach will become an issue, Mahmudullah suggested that he did not feel that way. He concluded by saying that he wanted to perform well and there is always an incentive to perform well when a player dons the national team jersey.