POST TIME: 12 October, 2018 00:00 00 AM
BCB announces ODI squad
Rabbi only newcomer for Zimbabwe series
Sports Reporter

BCB announces ODI squad

A file photo of Fazle Mahmud Rabbi

Fazle Mahmud Rabbi made the cut in the national team for the first time as Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced a 15-member squad for a three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe.

As it was predicted, all seniors were included in the squad barring Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal who need long time rehabilitation to get them fit properly. Mashrafe Bin Mortaza as usually will lead the side but confusion grew bigger because of blood clotting on this thigh as he sustained injury during the Asia Cup. Whether he may regain his full fitness is a matter to see although chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu expected he would recover very soon.

But it is highly likely that he may miss the first match. However there is no vice-captain announced in the team in absence of Shakib Al Hasan. If Mashrafe really misses the first match, Mahmudullah Riyad or Mushfiqur Rahim could lead the side. Although he was regular performer in the domestic circuit, the 30-year old Fazle Rabbi’s inclusion came as a bit surprise. But a handy batting all-rounder Fazle Rabbi’s performance was also noteworthy in the ongoing NCL.

“Since we need a batting all-rounder, we considered him in the team. He was in the scanner for a quite long time and we thought that time is ripe now to give him a chance,” said chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu. The selection panel led by Minhajul also recalled Saif Uddin, considered as a bowling all-rounder. Nazmul Hossain Shanto retained his place despite a mediocre batting show in the Asia Cup.

Shanto is considered to be the main opener along with Liton Das, while Imrul Kayes will play as back-up opener. If needed, Kayes’s service can be used in one-down or lower down the batting order.

“We have the intention to give someone a long run before ruling him out. Shanto is a talented cricketer. He may not fulfill what we expected him during the Asia Cup but we think he has good future ahead.”

The middle order will be completed by Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad and Mohammad Mithun. Ariful Haque will join him in this order as the selectors decided to stick with him even though he didn’t play a single game in Asia Cup. The selectors rather chose to axe Soumya Sarkar who was called up in the midst of the regional tournament last month.

“The middle order is still solid without the absence of Shakib Al Hasan. I hope that Mushfiqur and Mahmudllah will be completely fit by the time the series starts,” the chief selector said.

Mehidy Hasan Miraj and Nazmul Islam Opu will be the main spinners while pace bowling department will be looked after by Rubel Hossain, Abu Haider Rony, Mustafizur Rahman and Mashrafe himself.

Zimbabwe will arrive in the country on October 16 while the first match will be held on October 21 at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. The last two ODIs, scheduled to be on October 24 and 26, will be hosted by Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.

Squad: Masrafe Bin Mortaza (Captain), Litton Kumer Das, Imrul Kayes, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Md Mithun, Mahmud Ullah, Ariful Haque, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mustafizur Rahman, Nazmul Islam Apu, Rubel Hossain, Abu Haider Rony, Saif Uddin, Fazle Mahmud Rabbi.