A lot of questions were raised since Wednesday when the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced the ODI and Test squad for the upcoming New Zealand tour, scheduled to start from February 13. Almost all questions were centred on one player, right-handed batsman Sabbir Rahman, regarding his inclusion in the Tigers' ODI squad.
Despite the 27-year old being in just the fifth month of a six-month ban from international cricket, BCB cut his ban a month short and included him in the Tigers' ODI squad. Chief selector Minhajul Abdein said that the decision to reduce Sabbir's ban and opting to take him to New Zealand was in fact made by heeding Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza's words as the national selector mentioned that Mashrafe had insisted on it.
Sabbir was handed a six-month ban back in September 1 for abusing and threatening a fan on social media while on tour in West Indies last summer.
The right-hander, who is currently in Chattogram with his Sylhet Sixers team, talked to media at the team hotel yesterday ahead of their clash with Rajshahi Kings today, and did not forget to thank Mashrafe, who played an integral role in his controversial return, while also hailing this opportunity as a 'second life' for him.
“Thanks to BCB for having faith in me and thanks to all the Sylhet players and management and also, thanks to Mashrafe bhai for supporting me and having faith in me," Sabbir said yesterday.
“This is actually my second life and it will be a second debut for me if I play from the first match for Bangladesh in New Zealand. I will try to do something good henceforth. I will try to return as the previous Sabbir and play like that but even if I fail, I will keep faith in myself and also try to do just as the team management says.
“I do not have any special messages. The past is past and I will be careful so that there is no problem in the future.”
Another player who got the nod from the national selectors and made it to both Test and ODI squads for the New Zealand tour is Sabbir's Sylhet teammate Taskin Ahmed.
Taskin who last featured for the Tigers both in Test and ODIs back in 2017, has impressed in the ongoing edition of BPL, scalping 16 wickets so far in the tournament. The 23-year old pacer blamed it on the injuries that he suffered for his long gap from the national side.
“In 2018 I suffered from injuries four times, back to back, and that was the biggest problem for me, because it takes time to get back to rhythm right after coming back from an injury,” said Taskin.