Tamim, Rubel back for Pakistan T20s
Opener Tamim Iqbal and fast bowler Rubel Hossain returned to national fold for the three-match T20 series against Pakistan as the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced a 15-member squad for the much-talked tour on Saturday.
The only new inclusion in the squad was the 20-year old pacer Hasan Mahmud who hogged the limelight in the just concluded Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL), reports BSS.
Tamim hasn’t played the International cricket since the Bangladesh’s three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, which was held just after the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
While his World Cup performance was not up to the mark, Tamim saw lowest ebb of his career during the Sri Lanka tour in which he was the captain following the absence of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Shakib Al Hasan.
He then took a break and was supposed to return for the India tour in November but opted out the series because of personal reasons.
Tamim, who last played a T20I in December 2018, has recovered from a groin injury and was medically cleared to feature in the Pakistan series.
Rubel has had a longer break from T20I cricket with his last international game in the format coming in August 2018 against West Indies in Florida.
Mahmud has played 13 T20 games and has 10 wickets at an average of 37.9 and an economy of over nine. However, he has been fairly successful in first-class cricket (24 wickets from nine games) and List A cricket (19 wickets from 15 matches).
Mahmud was the part of five-men pace attack in the squad in which no left-arm spinner was included, something a rare scenario in Bangladesh cricket.
“Considering the condition in Lahore, we kept five pacers in the squad. Because at this moment, there was severe cold there which would certainly neutralize the effect of the spinners,” chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu told the BSS here today.
“Hasan is the quickest bowler for us at the moment and we included him just seeing his raw pace. We feel if he is nurtured in the national dressing room it will not take him long to make him capable of dealing the pressure of international cricket.” “Mahadi Hasan and Aminul Islam Biplob are the spinning options for us and both of them could bat also,” he added.
Nazmul Hossain Shanto who dazzled with willow towards the fag end of the BBPL and scored a sublime century and a half-century for eventual runners-up Khulna Tigers also made his way to the team. His inclusion basically came due to the hamstring injury of Imrul Kayes.
“But Shanto will be used as middle order batsman. Imrul Kayes was in our radar but as he was injured, Shanto made his way to the team.”
“There was an injury concern of Tamim but he was cleared and we are delighted to have him back since some of our senior members are missing,” Abedin remarked.
Taijul Islam, who has picked up just two wickets from nine games in Bangladesh Premier League 2019-20, has been dropped. Arafat Sunny, who was part of the touring side in India and last played a T20I in 2016, also has been axed from the side along with Abu Hider. Mushfiqur Rahim had earlier pulled out of the tour citing security reasons.
The first T20I will be played on January 24 while the second and third games will be held on January 25 and 27 respectively. All three games will be in Lahore before the visitors return to Pakistan for the first Test of the two-match series from February 7.
Squad: Mahmudullah Riyad (Captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Naim Sheikh, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Liton Kumer Das, Mohammad Mithun, Afif Hossain, Mahadi Hasan, Aminul Islam Biplob, Mustafizur Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Al-Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Hasan Mahmud.