Former Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim has decided not to keep wickets in Test cricket to manage his workload and prolong his career. Mushfiqur had been adamant earlier about not giving up on the gloves but a change of heart has forced him to inform his decision to the head coach Russell Domingo, who has agreed to it after speaking to the other members of the team management.
The 32-year-old said that he is getting a bit overloaded with all the cricket and now wants to just focus on his batting and not keep anymore.
"I am not interested to keep wickets in Test. Now there are lots of games in the upcoming days and I play in all formats. Apart from international cricket I play in DPL (Dhaka Premier League) and BPL (Bangladesh Premier League). Considering everything, I think it is getting a bit over-loaded," said Mushfiqur.
"I want to perform for a long time and because I am playing across formats I needed to think. I did not have any severe injury during the last five years but at the same time I did not take substantial amount of rest. In future such scenarios should not arise that I have to take rest in one or two series. So instead of that [missing series for rest] the only thing that I can do is minimize my workload and that is only possible by not keeping in Test and that's why I have taken this decision," he added.
He went on to add that he had already informed Domingo during the Bangladesh A series versus Sri Lanka and the head coach had no problems with the experienced head relinquishing his duties.
"Criticism is not new and it is not happening for just last one year. Everyone is not Shakib Al Hasan that he will give his hundred percent both with bat and ball. Probably my batting and keeping was not on the same level and there can be lacking from my side. If that was the case then I would have left keeping across format.
"It is not that I cannot do well despite keeping wickets. I scored my two double centuries while keeping wickets and it is same with all my Test centuries. Probably as a keeper by batting record is better and I still feel that when I am keeping I get a better idea about my batting because I can see everything from behind and it helps," he said.
"[But] I have crossed 30 long time back and if you want to say that is one way of having a long career. What I feel is that I need to play at my best and have to keep my excellence. I just don't want to be part of the playing XI. Where ever I play I want to give my best. The performance can be different on several junctures but I want to be prepared in the best possible way. Considering everything I felt that if I can sacrifice [my keeping] I can give my best for long time.
"But if they [team management] want me to keep wickets in Test in future than that is up to them and you have to give preference to the demand of the team management. For the time being I don't want to keep wickets in Test," he ended.