IPL 2021: Blow for Rajasthan Royals, Mustafizur Rahman not available for first two matches

IPL 2021: After Jofra Archer, Rajasthan Royals (RR) will miss the services of Bangladeshi pacer Mustafizur Rahman for the first two matches
IPL 2021: After Jofra Archer, Rajasthan Royals (RR) will miss the services of Bangladeshi pacer Mustafizur Rahman for the first two matches

IPL 2021 – Rajasthan Royals Mustafizur Rahman: After Jofra Archer, Rajasthan Royals (RR) will miss the services of Bangladeshi pacer Mustafizur Rahman for the first two matches in the IPL 2021. Rahman, who is with the Bangladesh squad in New Zealand, did not play in the last two T20I matches. However, he will be with the team till Sunday, April 4 before he leaves for India. Hence, when he reaches India on April 5, he will have to spend a mandatory seven-day quarantine, ruling him out of the first match against Punjab Kings on April 12.

Bangladesh Cricket Board’s Senior Manager, Media & Communications, Rabeed Imam told InsideSport.co that Mustafizur will be with the team till April 4. “He has not yet left for India. He is with the team and will only leave with the team on Sunday,” Imam said.

IPL 2021: Blow for Rajasthan Royals, Mustafizur Rahman not available for first two matches

With Bangladesh suffering a crushing defeat in the final T20I against New Zealand in Auckland on Thursday, he was left out of the Playing XI. But after the disappointing series, where Bangladesh lost all the matches including 3-0 series losses in both ODIs and T20Is, Mustafizur will stay with the team, instead of travelling to India immediately.

Furthermore, even if he joins Rajasthan Royals camp after quarantining for a week, he could also miss out on the 2nd match against Delhi Capitals on March 15 in Mumbai.

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IPL 2021 Rajasthan Royals – Mustafizur Rahman to miss 2 matches: Picked up for Rs 1 crore from the IPL 2021 auction, Mustafizur Rahman was supposed to play the role of the second pacer for Rajasthan Royals. But with Jofra Archer undergoing surgery and all but ruled out of the entire IPL 2021 campaign, it will be up to Andrew Tye to lead RR’s pace attack.

Had Mustafizur been available, the experience of an international bowler would have been a blessing for the 2008 IPL champions. The run-up to securing his services also hasn’t gone according to plans for RR. After Bangladesh scheduled a full series against Sri Lanka during IPL, Mustafizur said he would prefer to play for his country than in the IPL.

But last month, he hinted that his first priority would be playing for Bangladesh. With the BCB scheduling two Test matches against Sri Lanka at the time of IPL 2021 (April 17 to May 3), Rahman can miss the entire IPL edition this year.

Also Read: IPL 2021: RR captain Sanju Samson delighted to learn from Sangakkara, says, ‘It’s an honour to have him’ at Rajasthan Royals

“My first priority is to play for my country, and if I am picked in the Test series against Sri Lanka, I will naturally play. If I am not picked, then BCB will tell me that I am not included. At that point, if I am given NOC to play in the IPL, then I will play, but patriotism comes first for me,” Mustafizur said.

However, it came as a relief to RR when Bangladesh Cricket Board gave him NOC (No Objection Certificate) to play in the IPL, saying he is not in the board’s plans for the upcoming Sri Lanka tour.

“We have given him NOC for IPL, as he is not in our Test plans for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka. It’s better if he plays there and gains some experience,” BCB’s chief selector Minhajul Abedin told Cricbuzz.

Mustafizur Rahman’s current form, a worry for RR:

While he would be available from the 3rd match, his current form will be a worry for the RR team management. In the recently concluded New Zealand series, Mustafizur played four matches including three ODIs and one T20I. In the ODI series, he was expensive and could only manage three wickets at an average of 58.33 and an economy rate of 7.77. In the only T20I, he was hammered for 48 runs in his four overs without any wickets.