Bangladesh batsman Mahmudullah has ruled the five washed-out days during the series against South Africa, saying that playing against the No. 1 Test side would have been valuable experience for a growing team. He said the players would now have to use the Bangladesh Cricket League, which is reportedly going to be held soon, to tune up for the two Tests against Australia in October.
"It would have helped us immensely had there been ten days of cricket, whether we won, lost or drew the matches," Mahmudullah said after a third successive day of the second Test in Mirpur was lost to rain. The last two days of the Chittagong Test had also been washed out. "We would have played ten days against the best team in the world, and tested our skills better against them. It will be good if there is BCL before the Australia series, gives us a chance to play matches before a big series."
There was sunshine at the Shere Bangla Stadium around 2.00 pm on Sunday, less than half an hour after the fourth day was abandoned. Both teams were at the venue, but the ground was not fit for play following a heavy afternoon downpour. This Test, and with it the two-match series, is certain to be drawn.
On the first day, Mahmudullah had made 35 after batting for more than two hours, and he said it was a crime to get out after putting in the hard work to get a start. "I think everyone understands the need to take the opportunities," he said. "It is always hard to score the first 20-30 runs. It is the major hurdle. Then one has to play normally. Three-four of us got out in the 30s and 40s. I think it is a big crime. We have to find out, by speaking in groups and individually, how we can get out of this."
Over the last three days, like the other players, Mahmudullah has also been frustrated by the weather. "I think it is quite a tough situation. It is quite frustrating when you prepare yourself mentally for a five-day game and three days on the trot get called off. But it is important that one doesn't lose focus. It is also important to enjoy and relax when we are back at the hotel. When we head to the ground, we have to switch on since we have to get prepared for the match."
"At breakfast today I was talking to Imrul about what would have happened had the match taken place properly. We sometimes talk about such things. We spend time in the hotel room but when we are together, we talk cricket. We share ideas. He [Nasir Hossain] was telling me in the morning that he isn't feeling well. He has been not out for two days. We all want to play but we have to face the circumstances. Let's see what happens tomorrow."