Batsman Mahmudullah Riyad
Photo: ESPNcricinfo

Batsman Mahmudullah Riyad is set to leave the Bangladesh squad in Sri Lanka and return home after suffering a dip in form in all formats of the game.

The experienced middle-order batsman arrived at the P Sara Oval with the team on Thursday but did not practice with his teammates.

He spoke to team manager Khaled Mahmud for a long time, then went into the dressing room and never came out.

Mahmud later said, Mahmudullah was dropped from the second Test against Sri Lankan and would fly back home on Tuesday.

The former national team captain thinks dropping him after one match on their Sri Lanka tour sends out a message for the whole team.

“The performance is what matters here. One must do well to play in the team. The combination is an issue. But the truth is, performance is key,” Mahmud said.

“Mahmudullah is returning home because he is not being considered for the second Test. I think his performance let him down. He will fly back on Tuesday morning if ticket is available.”

In the last Bangladesh Premier League, the 31-year-old allrounder won the best player award for his fine allround show. But the slump began late in December last year on Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand.

His ODI scores against the Black Caps were 0, 1 and 3. He hit a half-century in the opening Twenty20 there, but followed it up with 19 and 18.

He has been going through a particularly lean phase in Tests, scoring a half-century only once, against India in Hyderabad last month, in his last 13 innings.

Mahmudullah had scores of just 8 and 0 to show for his efforts in the first Test against Sri Lanka as Bangladesh suffered a huge 159-run defeat in Galle to be left trailing in the two-Test series.

“I think Riyad [Mahmudullah] is mature enough, a tried-and-tested performer for Bangladesh. I hope he will return to the team through his performance once again.

“It is said that a break helps a person freshen up. I think this break can be a turning point for Riyad. As his mentor, I think it may be good for him.”

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