Bangladesh Cricket Board said on Monday that Mahmudullah is not available for selection for the upcoming ODI series against Afghanistan as he was granted leave to perform Hajj.
While Mahmudullah has already retired from Test cricket, he hasn't been considered for T20Is and ODIs for quite some time.
"Riyad (Mahmudullah) has told us that he is going to Mecca to perform Hajj between June 22 and July 5, after which he will rejoin the Bangladesh camp. He can't play the ODIs as the opening game of the series is scheduled on July 5," Jalal Yunus, BCB's Cricket Operation Chairman, told reporters in Mirpur on Monday (May 29).
"This is a very sensitive issue. He is going to perform Hajj and everyone must remember that it is mandatory (for every Muslim) and everyone should support him. I don't think his decision (of skipping the Afghanistan ODI series) will be a problem as far as his selection of the World Cup is concerned," he added.
Mahmudullah's decision to make himself unavailable for the ODIs against Afghanistan can be a big blow for him as far as his chance of making a claim in the World Cup squad is concerned, given that the hosts will be looking forward to complete all their experiments in this series, before announcing the squad for the Asia Cup that is expected to be retained in the World Cup as well.
Currently, Mushfiqur Rahim bats at number six - a position that Mahmudullah had made his own earlier. In the recent past, several names have come up for discussion for the number 7 spot. Mehidy Hasan is currently batting at number seven while several other players are in consideration for the spot - Mahmudullah and Afif Hossain among them.