No surprise in Tigers’ WC squad

It is a sweet headache at times when you cannot pick all the players who are performing, and now is such a time for the Bangladesh national selectors. Minhajul Abedin and Habibul Bashar named a 15-man squad for the 2019 World Cup, but unfortunately quite a few performers in the ongoing Dhaka Premier League had to miss out.

It was not like any other day at the home of cricket in Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, where the atmosphere was pretty tense as a huge number of journalists gathered to attend Bangladesh’s ICC World Cup squad announcement, scheduled for 12.30pm yesterday.

Although apart from one or two players, almost all the other members of the 15-man squad pretty much picked themselves as chief selector Minhajul, who himself was part of a World Cup squad heartbreak when he was initially dropped from Bangladesh’s maiden World Cup squad in 1999.

There was a lot of talk about Bangladesh’s probable World Cup squad over the past few days, but there was little drama or surprise as Minhajul read out the names of the 15, led by Mashrafe Bin Mortaza. The squad was touted as the best and most experienced Bangladesh team in their World Cup history.

The only unusual call was the inclusion of uncapped pacer Abu Jayed, who got the nod in place of a frontline contender for the fifth pacer’s spot -- Taskin Ahmed. Taskin was not included in the side because, according to Minhajul, there are questions about his match fitness because of recent injuries. He last played an ODI in October 21017.

The selectors, however, did include a fresh face in the form of right-handed batsman Yasir Ali who has been performing consistently in the domestic circuit recently along with off-spinner Nayeem Hasan as both will join the 17 member squad for the tri-nation series in Ireland.

However, it will be a challenging task for the Tigers who will play a minimum of 14 matches on the trot including the five games in the tri-nation series in Ireland. There are high chances of injury worries during this period along with the lack of form can also hurt Bangladesh in the mega event.

The selectors have actually had to keep the faith on this set of players as a few not in good form were also included. According to Minhajul, it was a balanced side but they are expecting consistency from the cricketers.

“I think it’s a balanced team but as it’s a long tournament consistent performances are very important. We will be playing 14 matches, including the tri-nation series, so the performance should also be stable in those games.

“This is the reason the importance of the experience comes in and I think we have quite a few experienced players. Many of them have played more than 100 matches. I am confident we will do well,” said Minhajul.

He also thought that the Tigers have the capability to reach the top four of the flagship event and said that it is one of the best teams they could possibly announce at the moment.


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