Mahmudullah Riyad announces his retirement from Test cricket
Mahmudullah Riyad made a shocking decision in July 2021 when he suddenly retired from cricket. He finally issued a statement months after he played his 50th and final Test match for Bangladesh’s win against Zimbabwe.
At 35 years of age, athletes are typically stepping away from their sports. Despite that popular notion, most fans and pundits didn’t expect Riyad to retire because he was still playing well for the Tigers. In his final game, he still had an amazing performance as he was the player of the match.
While his Test career ended, there is a chance that he will play in other formats. It is a shame that Riyad has left the Test format because he was such a strong player for Bangladesh. Now that he’s gone, the squad is dealt a huge blow because Riyad was such a key cog in their system over the years. Riyad was such a talented player but the system has to respect his decision to step away.
Riyad felt it was the right time to step away
When Riyad retired months ago, he did not have a statement to explain what happened at the end of his Test career. Now, Riyad has found the time to release an official statement where he dived into what happened and what led to his decision to retire from the sport. Riyad missing out on some games in 2020 played a huge role because he could not contribute to the team.
He said, ‘Leaving a format which I have been a part of for such a long time is not easy. I had always thought of going on a high and I believe this is the right time to end my Test career. I want to extend my gratitude to the BCB President for supporting me when I returned to the Test team. I thank my teammates and the support staff for always encouraging me and believing in my ability. It has been an absolute honour and privilege to play Test cricket for Bangladesh and I will cherish those many memories’.
Riyad was famously known as the ‘Silent Killer’ because of his calm and composed demeanour when playing cricket. While the nickname might sound grim for some people, he is a quiet player who can explode with his performances. It’s poetic that he retired from the sport without a word until months later.
Riyad is not retiring from cricket overall
Despite Riyad stepping away from the Test format, he is still in love with the sport. He is still committed to playing the ODI and T20I formats for the Tigers. He will surely be a strong player for those squads because he doesn’t have to play the longest format anymore.
Riyad assured the fans that he will still play cricket. He said, ‘Although I am retiring from Tests, I will still be playing ODIs and T20 internationals and really looking forward to continuing giving my best for my country in white-ball cricket’.
It will be a sad day if he outright retires from the sport because Riyad is such a huge figure in the Bangladesh cricket scene and he is a strong presence on the squad.
His teammates have already paid tribute to Riyad’s retirement because he was a strong figure in the Test format. The Bangladesh squad loved having Riyad in the dressing room but they respect his decision to step away.
Words: Cholo Martin