Mashrafe, Tamim fit
The national selectors have received the fitness reports of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Tamim Iqbal with both having been passed fit.
But the final discussion on the Tigers' 15-member squad for the Asia Cup was still held back as the Akram Khan-led committee are awaiting the return of AHM Mustafa Kamal, the Bangladesh Cricket Board president. "We didn't hold a meeting today [Sunday] but we did receive fitness reports of the two and Mashrafe [Bin Mortaza] and Tamim [Iqbal] are fit," said Akram yesterday, though the three-member panel didn't hold a meeting as was earlier said.
Upon Kamal's return, the selectors will hold a meeting and await his approval before announcement as the hosts can apparently take an extra day to declare Asia Cup squads. The delay would also mean that the training camp will probably begin on the originally announced March 7 for the tournament that begins three days later.
But the selectors will breathe a huge sigh of relief with the fitness reports of fast bowler Mashrafe and batsman Tamim as they didn't really have a lot of options lined up in either department. The left-handed opening batsman, despite missing much of the Bangladesh Premier League, is still the best option.
Mashrafe too would perfectly slot in as the new-ball bowler as paceman Rubel Hossain is all but certain to miss the four-nation tournament.
But if one takes a look at the last ODI squad selected, for the Pakistan series back in December, some of the faces may not find themselves this time around.
Question marks will be raised over Alok Kapali, Forhad Reza and Naeem Islam as the trio haven't had much of a fruitful Premier League or BPL campaign, due to a lack of form and opportunities.
The selectors could recall Mohammad Ashraful, who was the second highest run-getter among the locals in the Twenty20 tournament, while also consider Junaed Siddiqui (good BPL showing) and Jahurul Islam (good form during the Dhaka Premier League).
Among the bowlers, the selectors could pick an extra spinner with only Mashrafe and Shafiul using the new ball as the local left-armers handled the new white ball quite effectively during the BPL. If another left-arm spinner is added, Enamul Haque Jr could make a return after good performances throughout the season in all formats.