Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman and off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz will miss the opening round of the National Cricket League which will begin from today, informed national selector Habibul Bashar yesterday.

Mustafizur, who went to the airport on Tuesday to board a flight for Khulna to play against Rangpur Division, had to turn back after instructions from national team physio Julian Calefato.

The pacer is yet to recover fully since experiencing discomfort in his ankle and back pain, which forced the selectors to give rest from the one-off Test against Afghanistan last month. According to Bashar, the left-arm seamer is still not ready for the load of four-day games.

“Mustafizur is not available for the opening game of NCL as our physio instructed recently that he is yet to recover sufficiently from the ankle injury to take the load of longer-version cricket. According to the physio, Mustafizur is yet to bowl the number of overs in practice that would have indicated that he is fully fit to take on the load of bowling 25 to 30 overs a day,” Bashar told the media yesterday.

However, the former Bangladesh captain is hopeful that the left-arm seamer will make a return in the second round. “We are hoping to have him [Mustafizur] in the second round as he is expected to complete the required amount of bowling before then,” he said.

While Mustafizur has not had enough overs under his belt, Mehedi has done a lot of bowling for Bangladesh A in Sri Lanka, where the 21-year-old bagged 12 wickets in two four-day matches, which included a seven-wicket haul in the last game.

Bangladesh and Khulna off-spinner Mehedi had bowled 74 overs in the last four-day game after bowling 46.1 overs in the first unofficial Test and Bashar said the cricketer deserved some rest before returning to action.

“As far as Mehedi is concerned he bowled quite a few overs in Sri Lanka during the two four-day games and certainly deserves some kind of rest,” Bashar said.

Although both four-day games were drawn, Mehedi said that bowling a substantial number of overs in Sri Lanka would help him in the coming days.

“I think it will really help us in the coming days as I previously said that there is always room to bowl longer spells, which I did in Sri Lanka,” said Mehedi.

National seam-bowling all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin has also been advised not to take part in the first round for Chattogram because of a lingering back injury. Bangladesh Test and T20I skipper Shakib Al Hasan is also unavailable as he is currently in the West Indies playing the Caribbean Premier League for Barbados Tridents.



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