Who is Mahmudullah?


Who is Mahmudullah?

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Mahmudullah Riyad, a celebrated Bangladeshi cricketer, holds a prominent position in his country’s cricketing history. He actively represents Bangladesh across all formats of the game and even leads the national T20I team as its captain. With his significant contributions, he has left a lasting impression on the world of cricket.

As an all-rounder, Mahmudullah excels as a lower or middle-order batsman and showcases his off-spin bowling skills. His remarkable talent lies in his ability to excel in close limited-over games, often proving crucial in determining the outcome. Notably, he holds the distinction of being the first Bangladeshi player to score a century in a World Cup match.

Early Life and Background of Mahmudullah

Born on February 4, 1986, in Mymensingh, Bangladesh, Mahmudullah’s passion for cricket began at a tender age. Demonstrating his natural talent, he quickly developed into a skilled player. Gradually, he honed his skills by participating in multiple local teams until he earned a spot in the prestigious Dhaka Division cricket team.

In July 2007, Mahmudullah received a call-up to join Bangladesh’s ODI squad for a three-match series against Sri Lanka during the country’s tour. He marked his debut in the third ODI of the series, where he showcased his skills impressively. Despite Sri Lanka’s victory by 39 runs, Mahmudullah stood out as Bangladesh’s second-highest scorer with 36 runs and also demonstrated his bowling prowess by taking 2 wickets.

Following his promising debut, Mahmudullah was selected for Bangladesh’s squads in the Quadrangular Series held in Kenya in 2007 and the 2007 Twenty20 World Championship.

Later, on July 9, 2009, he made his Test debut against the West Indies. Although he didn’t excel with the bat, he made history by achieving the best test bowling figures in a match by a Bangladeshi debutant, securing an impressive eight-wicket haul, including a five-wicket haul in the second innings. Mahmudullah’s outstanding performance played a pivotal role in Bangladesh’s second Test victory and their first on foreign soil.

Mahmudullah’s Cricketing Journey

Despite scoring a Test century while batting at number eight against New Zealand, Mahmudullah was not promoted up the order by the selection committee. They believed he might have a vulnerability against fast bowling, even though the number four spot in the batting order remained vacant without a permanent occupant. However, he managed to secure his place in the squad and was chosen as part of Bangladesh’s 15-man team for the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup.

Later, on September 20, Mahmudullah was appointed as the vice-captain of the national team, stepping in for Tamim Iqbal after the previous captain and head coach were removed from their positions. His career-defining moment occurred on March 9, 2015, during the ICC Cricket World Cup match against England, where he etched his name in history as the first Bangladeshi batsman to score a century in World Cup matches. This exceptional performance led Bangladesh to victory, securing their qualification for the quarterfinals.

In the subsequent match against New Zealand, Mahmudullah once again displayed his prowess by scoring another century. However, despite his outstanding performance, New Zealand managed to clinch a narrow three-wicket win. Throughout the World Cup, Mahmudullah played in 6 matches, accumulating an impressive total of 365 runs, and emerged as the standout performer for the Bangladesh team, earning accolades as the star player (“star performer”) for the Tigers.

During the 2017 Champions Trophy, Mahmudullah achieved another remarkable feat. Teaming up with Shakib Al Hasan, they established a record-breaking partnership for the fifth wicket, not only in the history of the Champions Trophy but also in Bangladesh’s cricket history. Their exceptional performance helped secure a vital victory in the crucial semi-final, propelling the Tigers to the semifinals.

However, Mahmudullah’s form in longer formats of the game wasn’t up to par, leading the Bangladesh Cricket Board to advise him to concentrate primarily on white-ball cricket. Consequently, his central contract was amended, and he was retained with a white-ball contract only.

In the recently concluded Bangabandhu Cup, Mahmudullah had the honor of captaining Gemcon Khulna, and under his leadership, the team emerged victorious in the inaugural edition of the tournament.


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Mahmudullah’s Retirement from Test Cricket

During the one-off Test match between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in July 2021, on the third day of the match, Mahmudullah gave hints to his teammates that he intended to retire from Test cricket. The confirmation came when his fellow Bangladeshi players honored him with a guard of honor at the start of the fifth day’s play. This decision to retire during a match received criticism from the BCB president, who expressed concerns about its potential negative impact on the team. Nevertheless, Mahmudullah’s 50th Test match turned out to be a memorable one, as he scored an outstanding unbeaten 150 runs in the first innings, marking his career-best performance. His remarkable performance earned him the well-deserved Man of the Match award, and Bangladesh secured a resounding victory, winning the match by 220 runs.

Later in November 2021, Mahmudullah officially announced his retirement from Test cricket ahead of the First Test between Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Mahmudullah in the Present

Having been a prominent figure in Bangladeshi cricket for more than a decade, Mahmudullah’s responsibility now extends beyond his individual performances. He is tasked with mentoring and guiding the younger players, playing a significant role in the rebuilding phase of the Tigers. His experience and leadership will be pivotal in shaping the team’s future and ensuring a successful transition period for Bangladesh cricket.


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