Bangladesh call up uncapped Mahmud for Pakistan tour amid safety debate

This undated file photo shows Bangladeshi cricketer Hasan Mahmud speaking during a post match presentation. (Photo courtesy: ICC)
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Updated 18 January 2020

Bangladesh call up uncapped Mahmud for Pakistan tour amid safety debate

  • Some senior players and coaches have declined to play in Pakistan citing safety concerns
  • Bangladesh will play their T20s in Lahore from Jan. 24 and return to Pakistan for test matches in February

DHAKA: Bangladesh on Saturday called up uncapped fast bowler Hasan Mahmud for their three-match Twenty20 series in Pakistan which has been engulfed by fears over player safety.
Opener Tamim Iqbal returns after skipping a home series against Afghanistan and Zimbabwe and a tour in India. Mosaddek Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Taijul Islam and Abu Hider have been dropped from the squad.
“Hasan is a quick bowler and has a good future. So we thought maybe this is the right time to give him a break,” said Bangladesh Cricket Board’s chief selector MinHajjul Abedin.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim was left out after saying he would not go to Pakistan for security reasons.
A senior BCB official said batting coach Neil McKenzie, spin bowling coach Daniel Vettori and fielding coach Rayan Cook would also not accompany the team.
Mushfiqur, 32, remained adamant that he would not be with the squad when they leave on Wednesday.
“I decided it a long time ago and informed the board. I have submitted a letter too. My family is concerned, and don’t want me to go,” Mushfiqur told reporters late Friday.
He has also kept his name off the draft for the Pakistan Super League T20 tournament.
“There’s no bigger sin for me than not playing for Bangladesh. But I had refused an offer to play in the PSL after finding out that the tournament will be entirely held in Pakistan,” he said.
“I agree that things have improved in Pakistan, but I will gain confidence when I see teams going there for the next two years. I have been to Pakistan before, it is a great place to play cricket.”
Mushfiqur’s absence will be a blow for Bangladesh who are already without suspended all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and lost their two recent Tests in India inside three days. “I wish good luck to our team,” he said.
Bangladesh play their T20s in Lahore from January 24-27 before returning home. They will go back to Pakistan for the first Test starting February 7 and visit again to play a one day international in Karachi on April 3 and the second Test from April 5.
Bangladesh squad: Mahmudullah (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Naim, Nazmul Hossain, Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Afif Hossain, Mahadi Hasan, Aminul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Al-Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain and Hasan Mahmud.


Woods-Michelson rematch to add Brady, Manning in the works

Updated 03 April 2020

Woods-Michelson rematch to add Brady, Manning in the works

TORONTO: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will play a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) relief golf match next month with Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, CNBC reported on Wednesday.

The report, which sourced an unnamed person familiar with the negotiations, said the charity match would be held at an undisclosed location without fans and is being organized by the PGA Tour and AT&T’s WarnerMedia.

The negotiations are still being finalized but the match pitting 15-times major champion Woods and Manning against five-times major winner Mickelson and Brady could be aired on live TV and is unlikely to be featured on pay-per-view, the report said.

“Discussions along these lines have been ongoing for quite some time, but nothing has been approved by the tour,” the PGA Tour said in a statement.

A matchup featuring two of the most famous golfers of their era and two of the all-time greatest NFL quarterbacks would be a rare sporting event during the coronavirus pandemic which has brought the sporting world to a halt.

The event will feature a small production crew to film it and each individual will obey the social-distancing recommendations to stay six-feet apart, the report said.

Mickelson was asked recently on Twitter about the chances of a round of golf against Woods being live streamed in the near future, and the American replied: “Working on it.” 

When another fan tweeted to Mickelson asking him not to “tease,” the 49-year-old responded: “I don’t tease. I’m kinda a sure thing.” 

Woods, 44, last competed in mid-February and then withdrew from a number of tournaments with a back injury before the PGA Tour decided to cancel a slew of events because of the coronavirus.

Mickelson finished third in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in early February and missed the cut in his next two starts.

Woods and Mickelson played each other in a winner-take-all $9 million match-play exhibition in November 2018 that was golf’s first venture into pay-per-view.

That event was hyped like a Las Vegas prize fight but proved more of a pillow fight with both golfers in jovial mood, playing for a purse that was put up by sponsors and went to a charity of Mickelson’s choice.

Brady recently joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after 20 years with the New England Patriots during which he won an NFL-record six Super Bowl titles.

Manning, who played for the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, retired in 2016 as the NFL’s all-time leader in passing touchdowns and yards and is the only five-times winner of the league’s Most Valuable Player award.