Published On: Tue, Feb 27th, 2018

Shakib to lead Bangla in Nidahas Trophy T20s

After a lot of speculation, drama and an attempt to convince ODI skipper Mashrafe Mortaza to reconsider his T20 retirement, Shakib Al Hasan has been named captain for the tri-series that also involves Sri Lanka and India starting on 6 March in Sri Lanka. Shakib’s inclusion comes with a rider though – the BCB medical board has made it clear that he won’t be available for the opening two games of the tournament as he is still struggling with a sore finger.

With the uncertainty surrounding Shakib and Mashrafe’s unwillingness to come back, the team announcement got delayed. Shakib sustained an injury to his left hand during the tri-nation ODI series final in January and later had to receive stitches. The 30-year-old, who was named the Test and T20I skipper of the national team for the Sri Lanka series in February, was subsequently ruled out of the two-match Test series with Mahmudullah leading in his place.

Shakib missed the following 2-match T20 series as well, preferring to rest so that he could be available for the Nidahas Trophy. Mahmudullah led the T20I side as well.

It is reliably learnt that Shakib wasn’t, too, keen to play on with the injury but BCB President Nazmul Hasan seems to have convinced him. Nazmul said that there is no guarantee when he will be available but had to include him taking everything into consideration. “He might be available for one or two matches,” he said.
“There is no problem when he bowls, but the finger gets sore when he bats and probably he will not be available for the opening matches.”

There were five changes to the side that last played the 2-match T20 series against Sri Lanka. Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Nurul Hasan and Mehidy Hasan come in while Mohammad Saifuddin, Zakir Hasan, Atif Hossain and Mohammad Mithun who were a part of the T20I series against Sri Lanka find themselves out of favour.
Speaking about team selection, chief selector Minhajul Abedin asserted that they picked players suited for the pitches and conditions in Sri Lanka. “We have included some experienced campaigners,” he said.

“As it is expected pacers will play a part so we picked Imrul [Kayes] considering his international experience. As the matches will be played in Premadasa, we needed someone who can bowl fast and Taskin [Ahmed] returned fulfilling the criterion,” he added. Meanwhile current bowling coach Courtney Walsh will act as head coach for the tri-series. Walsh takes over from Zimbabwe-born Richard Halsall – who was appointed interim head coach after Chandika Hathurasinghe took over Sri Lanka’s national team. Halsall had acted as Bangladesh’s fielding and assistant coach since mid-2014. He was appointed as head coach after the board failed to find a replacement for Hathurasinghe before the ODI tri-series in January.

While the reason for Halsall’s unavailability for the tournament remains unclear, Walsh takes over on an interim basis. Khaled Mahmud – the former Bangladesh all-rounder, who performed the role of technical director returns back to his usual post of team manager of the Tigers.

Bangladesh Squad for Nidahas trophy:
Shakib Al Hasan (Captain), Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Abu Jayed, Taskin Ahmed, Imrul Kayes, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Islam, Abu Haider Rony.

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