* BCB cricket operations committee yet to work on the 26-member preliminary squad submitted by the selectors last week.
* Injury concerns cropping up in the ongoing BPL with Abdur Razzak, Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan among those suffering.
* Scope for new names to make the grade for the Sri Lanka tour, says selector Habibul Bashar.
A little more than three weeks remain before Bangladesh leave for Sri Lanka for their first international tour of the year, a fact that has almost been lost amid the hustle and bustle of the second edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) over the last three weeks or so.
Preparations for the tour kicked off last week when the national selectors submitted a 26-member preliminary squad to the Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) cricket operations committee. The selectors chose the squad with the aim of identifying the fitness levels of each player. That objective however is yet to be fulfilled.
â€œWe received a 26-member list last week but we haven't yet started working on it. We'll have a meeting in two to three days time and decide on the next course of action,â€ Enayet Siraj, chairman of the committee told The Daily Star yesterday.
While neither of the physiotherapists of the BCB has been called upon to submit a report on the players as yet, the injury scares from the ongoing BPL might well have a negative effect on the tour next month.
Rangpur's Abdur Razzak was diagnosed with a groin strain last Monday while Rajshahi's Tamim Iqbal, who was hit hard on his left wrist on Saturday is still unsure of playing the next game. Ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who missed out on the ODI series against the West Indies in November-December last year with a shin bone injury, still does not seem fully fit.
While he did recover from the hamstring injury that kept him out of two BPL games, he continues to complain of the shin bone injury, informed the BCB's physio two days ago. Shakib will undergo a bone scan to determine the extent of his shin injury. If the scan reveals something untoward, the all-rounder may be out of action for up to three months.
Selector Habibul Bashar however remained optimistic and believed that most of the injured players would recover in time. â€œThere are a few injury worries no doubt. But most of them aren't that worrisome. We are however a bit concerned about Shakib since he is complaining of his old shin-related problem again,â€ said Bashar.
He also stated that there were a few positions in the team that were up for grabs. â€œThere is scope for new names to emerge in the second, third and fourth positions in the batting order. The positive is that a number of batsmen have been among the runs.â€ said Bashar.
Bangladesh used two opening pairs in the Test series against West Indies in December, with Tamim Iqbal being the constant. Both Nazimuddin and Junaed Siddique, courtesy of their poor displays, are unlikely to get opportunities on the tour.
Anamul Haque, who has been in fine touch ever since his debut in ODIs last year, has a good chance to make his Test debut in Sri Lanka.
As for the performers in the recent domestic leagues, batsman Marshal Ayub has stood apart so far. He was the top-scorer in both the National Cricket League and the Bangladesh Cricket League competitions and scored two double centuries.
Shane Jurgensen is most likely to continue his role as head coach of the national team. The BCB also decided to employ a local assistant coach from the upcoming tour onwards.
Bangladesh will play two Tests, three one-day internationals and one Twenty20 international on their month-long tour of Sri Lanka in March. The Test series will begin on March 8 with the ODI series to follow from March 23.