Bangladesh got a huge boost ahead of the forthcoming Asia Cup as their ace all-rounder Sakib al Hasan was named in the 15-member squad announced by the Bangladesh Cricket Board on Thursday.
Bangladesh also made few changes in their squad as batsmen Sabbir Rahman, Anamul Haque and pacer Abu Jayed, who were part of the three-match one-day international series against West Indies, were axed from the squad.
There was a high possibility that Sakib could skip the major tournament as the 31-year old all-rounder expressed his desire to undergo a surgery before the Asia Cup earlier this month.
However, the star cricketer had changed his mind and decided to undergo surgery after the end
of their Asia Cup campaign as BCB president Nazmul Hasan suggested him to play in the major tournament if he felt comfortable with his injury.
‘Sakib told me that he would undergo a surgery after taking part in the Asia Cup,’ Nazmul told reporters at Mirpur on Thursday.
‘I told him to do the surgery during the Zimbabwe series if possible as the Asia Cup is very challenging. I think this will be the toughest Asia Cup in recent times,’ he added.
Sakib who returned home on Wednesday after performing Hajj in Saudi Arabia, is expected to join the camp on September 6.
The ace all-rounder played with painkiller injections during the last two Twenty20 matches against West Indies after he felt discomfort with his old injury in his finger.
Earlier, Sakib hurt the base of his left little finger while fielding during a tri-series final against Sri
Lanka on January 27 and failed to take part in the Test and Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka in home conditions.
Chief selector Minhajul Abedin revealed Sabbir and Anamul were excluded from the side due to their poor performances while Jayed failed to get a place as Bangladesh would go with four pacers in the United Arab Emirates.
‘Sabbir was dropped for his performance and so as Anamul,’ Minhajul told New Age.
‘We had to pick 15 cricketers and we had 15 players in the previous squad. As we will play in Asian soil, we will go with four fast bowlers as these are the reasons Rahi [Abu Jayed] could not make it to the team.’
All-rounder Ariful Haque, who represented the Tigers in six Twenty20 internationals, got his maiden call-up to the side while wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Mithun was also included in the squad.
‘We were looking for a batting all-rounder so we picked Ariful. Mithun performed excellently in domestic cricket as well as in the recent ‘A’ team series,’ added Minhajul.
‘Both our captain and coach asked us to pick Mithun as he has the ability to handle good spin attack like the Afghans.’
The Tigers will leave Dhaka for UAE on September 9.
Bangladesh will play Sri Lanka in the opening Group B match of the six-nation tournament at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on September 15.
The Tigers will face Afghanistan on September 20 in their last group match at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
Masrafee bin Murtaza (Captain), Sakib al Hasan (vice-captain),Tamim Iqbal, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Ariful Haque, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Nazmul Hossain, Mehedi Hasan, Nazmul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman and Abu Hider.
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