Bangladesh on Tuesday recalled batsman Mosaddek Hossain and included uncapped paceman Abu Jayed in its 15-man squad filled mostly with experienced and trusted players for the World Cup 2019.
Mosaddek regained the confidence of the selectors with a strong performance in domestic cricket to take the slot for the extra-batsman.
A shoulder injury of batsman Mahmudullah also paved the way for the return of Mosaddek, who last played for Bangladesh in the Asia Cup in UAE in 2019.
‘Since the World Cup will be held in a difficult condition in UK we wanted to value the experience of our players,’ said chief selector Minhajul Abedin while announcing the squad in a crowded press conference at Mirpur.
‘We have some injury worries over Mahmudullah. Most probably he will not be able to bowl. So we needed someone down the order who could also bowl few overs, this is why we opted for Mosaddek,’ he said.
Mosaddek played a key role in Bangladesh’s crucial win over New Zealand in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 when he picked up three vital wickets.
But his form with the bat deserted him soon until the ongoing Dhaka Premier League where he scored 428 runs in 12 matches alongside picking up seven wickets.
Pace bowler Abu Jayed is the only uncapped player in the squad that included at least four players with the experience of playing three World Cups in skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza, Tamim Iqbal, Sakib al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim.
Jayed played five Tests and three Twenty20 internationals but was yet to play any one-day internationals.
Selectors preferred Jayed as cover for three regular pacers mostly because of his ability to swing the ball, which they believed would be handy in English conditions.
‘During the New Zealand Test series (in February-March), we saw that Rahi [Jayed] could do swing what we expect from our players,’ said Minhajul.
Jayed’s inclusion inevitably meant there was no room for pacer Taskin Ahmed, who has just recovered from injury but was yet to regain his full fitness.
‘Taskin played his last ODI in October 2017 and it was a long break for him,’ added Minhajul.
Minhajul, however, did not shut the door completely for Taskin, adding that he would be considered as a back-up option during the course of long competition, which warranted at least nine matches.
The other notable omission from the World Cup squad was batsman Imrul Kayes, who lost his place in the one-day side after the home series against West Indies in October and did nothing very significant to win it back.
Imrul’s name came in the discussion duo to the poor form of Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar in recent matches, but selectors reposed a faith on their ability over form.
‘Of course their form is a worry,’ said Minhajul. ‘But World Cup is still few months away. We also have a tri-series in between...I hope we will see them in good conditions in preparation camp before the tri-series.’
Bangladesh also named the squad for a tri-nation tournament in Ireland, where uncapped spinner Nayeem Hasan and batsman Yasir Ali would join the World Cup squad.
The tri-nation, which also includes hosts Ireland and West Indies, will be held from May 5-17.
Bangladesh will begin their campaign in the World Cup against South Africa at the Oval on June 2.
Mashrafee bin Murtaza (Capt), Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Sakib al Hasan, Mohammad Mithun, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehedi Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Jayed.
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