Top-order batsman Imrul Kayes on Monday blasted selectors for omitting him from the national team for the forthcoming Test and one-day international series against New Zealand, starting on February 13 in Napier.
Only three months ago, Imrul was the talk of Bangladesh cricket when he scored 349 runs in a three-match one-day international series against Zimbabwe, second highest after Pakistan’s Babar Azam’s 360 runs in a bilateral series.
The southpaw, who earlier got a surprise call in the preceding Asia Cup after being out of ODI squad for a year, hit a crucial
unbeaten 72 runs against Afghanistan in a do-or-die match in UAE that lifted Bangladesh’s chance of qualifying for the finals of the tournament.
Imrul capitalised on the opportunity in the absence of Tamim Iqbal in Zimbabwe series and scored two hundreds and a 90-run innings as an opener that guided Bangladesh a 3-0 clean-sweep victory.
However, he failed in the subsequent Test matches against Zimbabwe and West Indies, scoring only 97 runs in six innings and West Indies before being dropped for the second Test against the Caribbeans.
He returned for the ODIs but could not maintain his previous form making four and zero in two matches that appeared to be decisive factor for his omission from New Zealand-bound team.
‘I am playing like this for the last 10 years. I really don’t know whether I will be included in the next series despite performing well. Nowadays I don’t even expect anything,’ Imrul told reporters after leading Comilla Victorians to 80-run win over Khulna Titans in the Bangladesh Premier League.
‘I remain mentally prepared so that if any chance arises I can go and perform,’ he added.
Selectors sprang a surprise when they recalled suspended Sabbir Rahman and persisted with consistently inconstant Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar but ignored Imrul, who had a relatively better record in New Zealand.
Imrul was part of the squad during Bangladesh’s last two tours in New Zealand respectively in 2010 and 2016 when he made 262 runs, including a hundred and a fifty, in six ODIs at an average of 43.67.
Imrul said that the selectors could have given him a suggestion about his lacking before dropping him and he could have worked on the matter.
‘If they had clarified me regarding my lack of form I could have worked on it and tried to make myself better. I think it is better if they [selectors] clarify me about my position,’ he said.
‘It would be helpful for me if I know why I am not in the national team. Perhaps they are not considering me because of team combination. Perhaps they are thinking there are too many batsmen for one position so they don’t require me,’ he added.
Comilla Victorians innings
Tamim c Wiese b Mahmudullah 25
E Lewis not out 109
Anamul c Shanto b Mahmudullah 0
Imrul lbw b Shoriful 39
T Perera c Wiese b Brathwaite 11
Afridi c Taijul b Brathwaite 1
Shamsur not out 28
Extras (lb 2, nb 1, w 21) 24
Total (five wickets, 20 Overs) 237
Did not bat: Wahab, Saifuddin, Mahedi, Shahid
Fall of wickets: 1-58 (Tamim), 2-58 (Anamul), 3-155 (Imrul), 4-174 (T Perera), 5-178 (Afridi)
Shoriful 4 0 53 1
Saddam 4 0 59 0
D Wiese 4 0 49 0
Mahmudullah 4 0 32 2
C Brathwaite 4 0 42 2
Khulna Titans innings
B Taylor c & b Afridi 50
Junaed c Shamsur b Mahedi 27 D Malan c Mahedi b Afridi 13
Mahmudullah b Afridi 11
C Brathwaite c Saifuddin b Perera 22
Shanto c s Dawson b Saifuddin 14
D Wiese c Saifuddin b Wahab Riaz8
Ariful run out 2
Taijul b Wahab 1
Shoriful not out 0
Saddam c Tamim b Wahab 0
Extras (lb 7, nb 1, w 1) 9
Total (all out, 18.5 Overs) 157
Fall of wickets: 1-55 (Siddique), 2-79 (D Malan), 3-95 (Mahmudullah), 4-116 (B Taylor), 5-143 (C Brathwaite), 6-144 (Shanto), 7-147 (Ariful), 8-157 (D Wiese), 9-157 (Taijul), 10-157 (Saddam)
Saifuddin 3 0 29 1
Mahedi 4 0 28 1
Shahid 2 0 24 0
Wahab 2.5 0 14 3
Afridi 4 0 27 3
T Perera 3 0 28 1
Toss: Khulna Titans
Result: Comilla Victorians won by 80 runs
Man of the match: Evin Lewis (Comilla Victorians)
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