Friday, June 14, 2024

Chief selector keeps faith in Bangladesh World Cup squad despite series loss to USA

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Bangladesh chief selector Gazi Ashraf Hossain is keeping the faith in the 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup keeping in mind the ICC’s May 25 deadline to submit the final squads for the tournament. Bangladesh had the opportunity to make changes after they lost the first two T20Is – and hence the series – against USA in Texas with the same squad.
“After speaking to the captain [Najmul Hossain Shanto] and coach [Chandika Hathurusinghe], we decided to keep this squad,” Ashraf said. “We are hoping they do well in the T20 World Cup. We are keeping faith in the existing squad. We never expected that the team will start the tour with a series loss [against USA]. But that’s the reality. We have another 12 days in hand. We have to get out of this disappointment. They know that if the team does well in the World Cup, this will be forgotten quickly.”

Ashraf was speaking at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka where the BCB called up 21 players for the Bangladesh Tigers’ training camp from May 26. Ashraf said the camp includes six players designated as T20 World Cup reserves although Mohammad Saifuddin has opted out for the first two weeks due to a family emergency.

“Since nobody was in training, we started the Bangladesh Tigers’ camp. We are keeping some players ready for white-ball cricket so that when facing a crisis, we can send replacements,” he said. “They are all World Cup standbys. (Anamul Haque) Bijoy is there if there’s a crisis around Litton (Das). (Nurul Hasan) Sohan is there for Jaker Ali. Khaled, (Parvez Hossain) Emon, Nasum (Ahmed) and (Mehidy Hasan) Miraz are also in the camp. Nasum was suffering from jaundice, so he might join the players in the Sylhet phase next month.

“Saifuddin has been given a leave till June 10. He is attending to a family situation. He was one of the six players asked to join the Bangladesh Tigers’ training camp. We will now prepare Khaled with the others.”

Bangladesh’s opening batting combination has been under scrutiny this year, particularly with Litton Das and Soumya Sarkar looking out of form. Tanzid Hasan has been the only opener to have scored a little consistently although he has played only six T20Is since his T20I debut against Zimbabwe earlier this month.

Ashraf said they are not looking for a makeshift opening option just yet because he feels it is a specialist’s job. He said they should be able to pick openers from those who did well in the BPL this year.

“Facing the new ball is a challenge everywhere, so you won’t see many teams nowadays sending makeshift openers,” he said. “Unless they really have to. Cricket has moved on from using pinch hitters.

“We are supposed to have 24 openers playing in the BPL, if you consider each team having a reserve opener apart from the regular pair. I don’t think it is a good practice if we have to think about a makeshift.”

Ashraf also informed that Taskin Ahmed, who suffered a side strain earlier this month, could be training properly from June 5. “Taskin could start light training from June 1. He is recovering quicker than expected. He could be bowling with a full run-up from June 5,” he said.

Bangladesh, in Group D, open their T20 World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka on June 7 in Dallas before heading to New York to play South Africa (June 10), and then to St Vincent to take on Netherlands (June 13) and Nepal (June 16). They will also play two warm- up games, against USA on May 28, and opposite India on June 1 before the main tournament.

Bangladesh squad for T20 World Cup

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Najmul Hossain Shanto (capt), Taskin Ahmed (vice-capt), Litton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Tanzid Hasan, Shakib Al Hasan, Towhid Hridoy, Mahmudullah, Jaker Ali, Tanvir Islam, Mahedi Hasan, Rishad Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan
Traveling reserves: Hasan Mahmud, Afif Hossain

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