Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim has revealed that his family is concerned about the security situation in Pakistan, which is why he has decided to skip the upcoming tour to the country.
Bangladesh are scheduled to play three Twenty20 internationals (T20Is), two Tests and one one-day international (ODI) in Pakistan between January and April in three separate phases.
While speaking to reporters after the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) final in Dhaka, the wicketkeeper-batsman clarified that he will not be available for any part of the series.
“Like I have said before, my family is concerned with me travelling to Pakistan. Keeping them in a worry I do not have the mentality to go and play in Pakistan,” said Rahim. “There is no reason for the decision to change. I have already said I will not travel to Pakistan. I have written this to the board and this has been accepted. I will not be part of this full series.”
“It was a tough decision for me [to opt out of the series]. But one needs to understand the fact that I even decided to not be part of PSL [Pakistan Super League] because that is to be played in Pakistan. My family is not permitting me. Life is never ahead of cricket,” he added.
The 32-year-old added that he would like to tour Pakistan again once international cricket becomes a regular fixture in the country.
“I would also like to say the situation in Pakistan has improved recently [in terms of security] but I would like to give it another two or three years. I will gain confidence if I get to see many teams travelling there,” he said. “I have toured Pakistan before, in 2008. It is a tremendous place to play cricket. The wickets are batting friendly and I will miss that. But in future if the situation there remains consistently well, there is no reason for me not to tour Pakistan.”
Mushfiqur’s absence could be a blow for Bangladesh, who are already without suspended all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan.
International cricket has gradually returned to Pakistan in the last four years after it was suspended in the wake of terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.