In response to the disastrous performance in the just concluded Twenty20 World Cup, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) made sweeping changes to the side, bringing up six players including four new faces for the upcoming thee-match T20 International series against Pakistan.
According to the BCB, ace allrounder Shakib Al Hasan and Saifuddin were unavailable due to injuries while Mushfiqur Rahim was rested but axe fell on Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar and fast bowler Rubel Hossain, who didn’t play a single match in the T20 World Cup.
The performance of Liton and Soumya in the World Cup indeed led their axe. They were replaced by six players with batter Najmul Hossain Shanto and leg-spinner Aminul Islam Biplob returning to the national fold and batters Saif Hassan and Yasir Ali Chowdhury, pacer Shohidul Islam and wicketkeeper Akbar Ali making the cut for the first time.
In the vastly youth-heavy side, Bangladesh have now only one experienced player in their 16-member-Mahmudullah Riyad, who retained his captaincy despite a below par World Cup campaign.
Mushfiqur who played 99 T20Is for Bangladesh was on his way to be second Bangladesh player after Mahmudullah Riyad to play 100 matches in this format. But chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu said, due to Bangladesh’s packed International schedule, he was given rest to keep him refresh.
“Mushfiqur is our key player, specially in the longer format and we have back-to-back Test matches against Pakistan and New Zealand. So, we have given him a rest,” Abedin said yesterday.
Mushfiqur made 95 runs including a half-century against Sri Lanka in the T20 World Cup but the manner in which he was dismissed in the crucial time in some crucial matches, earned a huge criticism.
Abedin said the rest is only for the Pakistan series.
“As Tamim Iqbal is already injured, we want Mushfiqur Rahim, the best player for us, to give him best in the Test series. So after a lengthy discussion with the team management we decided to rest him. He will be available later,” he added.
Bangladesh will take on Pakistan for the first of the three T20Is on November 19 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. The second and third T20Is will be on November 20 and 22 respectively at the same venue.
All the T20Is will be starting from 2:00pm as per Bangladesh Standard Time (BST).
The teams will then travel to Chattogram to play the first Test from November 26 at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. They will then return to Dhaka for the final fixture of the tour, the second Test, which will be played from December 4 in Mirpur.
Bangladesh’s T20 squad: Mahmudullah Riyad (captain), Naim Sheikh, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Shak Mahedi Hasan, Aminul Islam Biplob, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Shamim Hossain, Nasum Ahmed, Saif Hassan, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Shohidul Islam, Akbar Ali.