Bangladesh will embark on a new journey in Twenty20 cricket with a fresh-looking squad when they will take on Sri Lanka in the first of two-match series in Mirpur today.
The match will start at 5:00pm and will be televised in GTV and Start Sports 2.
The Tigers included as many as six uncapped players in their Twenty20 squad after suffering 1-0 defeat in Test series and 79-run bashing in tri-series final against the islanders and many of them were expected to make their debut in this.
With regular captain Sakib al Hasan already injured out, the chance of all six uncapped players getting a debut grew higher after two experienced players Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim complained of injury.
Since Bangladesh’s maiden Twenty20 match in 2006, the Tigers never saw so many new players in their starting line-up.
The last time Tigers played with more than three debutants it was back in 2016 when Mosaddek Hossain, Muktar Ali, Mohammad Shahid and Abu Hider played their first Twenty20 international at Khulna.
Wicketkeeper batsman Zakir Hasan, pacer Abu Jayed and all-rounders Ariful Haque, Mahedi Hasan and Afif Hossain and left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam could be joined by five players who played less than 20 Twenty20 matches.
Despite having inexperienced players and poor recent form, stand-in skipper Mahmudullah didn’t want to consider it as an experiment as he said all of the newcomers were very promising and they had chances to go a long way.
‘Those five players [six players] who made it to the team are very promising. If they can perform well, there is possibility to go a long way. This is a great opportunity for them,’ Mahmudullah said on Wednesday.
‘They can give a good statement that they came here to fix their positions. I hope that they will
play their best cricket to make a place in the side,’ he added.
Sri Lanka on the other hand were a much confident side after their Test and tri-series thruimph over the hosts in last one-month.
Opening batsman and former captain Upal Tharanga, however, refused to take anything from granted due to the unpredictable nature of Mirpur wicket.
‘We can’t be sure of it until tomorrow [today]. Hopefully it will be a good wicket. In the one-day series also we got different wickets,’ he said.
The second match of the series will be held in Sylhet on Sunday.
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