Mashrafe returns to lead host side for Zimbabwe ODIs
Published : Sunday, 23 February, 2020 at 9:21 PM Count : 339
Mashrafe Bin Mortaza returned to one-day squad and set to lead the side for one last time as Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced a 15-member squad for the first and second ODIs of the three-match series against Zimbabwe.
This will be Mashrafe’s first series since the 2019 World Cup. He missed the three-match ODI series in Sri Lanka aftermath of the World Cup due to his hamstring injury. And that series remains Bangladesh’s last ODI fixture.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hossain Papon earlier said this will be Mashrafe’s last series as captain and he would have to prove his performance and match fitness if he wants to continue his career since they will appoint a new captain in a bid to build a team for the 2023 World Cup.
Opening batsman Naim Sheikh and Afif Hossain, who had recently established them as the vital cogs in Bangladesh’s T20 set up, now found their place in the ODI squad too.
Saifuddin, who alongside Mashrafe was withdrawn from the Sri Lanka ODI series due to his recurring back pain made an expected comeback.
The selectors led by Minhajul Abedin Nannu, however, brought up a sweeping change to the squad that played the last ODI series in Sri Lanka.
As many as seven players– Soumya Sarkar, Anamul Haque Bijoy, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Sabbir Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed and Farhad Reza–were dropped.
Apart from Naim Sheikh, Afif Hossain, Siafuddin and Mashrafe, Bangladesh also included Shaiful Islam, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Al-Amin Hossain and Liton Das.
Chairman of BCB National Selection Panel Minhajul Abedin said: “It is great to have Mashrafe Bin Mortaza back as his experience and leadership is vital to our one day cricket. Saifuddin is also key to the team’s balance.”
“We had to make certain adjustments in the last ODI series we had played in as a number of cricketers were unavailable due to various reasons but I’m happy that we now have a fit pool of players to select from.”
“Shanto’s current form in international and domestic cricket gets him into the team while Naim and Afif are also part of our long-term plan for the shorter version.”
Bangladesh will play their first ODI against Zimbabwe on March 1 while the second and third match in on March 3 and 6. All the matches will be held at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.
Masrafe Bin Mortaza (Captain), Tamim Iqbal Khan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Kumer Das, Taijul Islam, Afif Hossain, Naim Sheikh, Al Amin Hossain, Saifuddin, Shafiul Islam, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mustafizur Rahman.