A lifeline for the out of favour
When former international players are included in a preliminary squad, it does not necessarily signal a revival of their international careers but it does provide some hope. Above all, it sends the message to those players that their careers are not over. This sentiment was reflected in Shahriar Nafees's comments when he said that it was like a lifeline for him after the left-hander was drafted into the 30-member preliminary squad announced yesterday for England's tour of Bangladesh in October this year. The camp will start at Mirpur on July 20.
Rakibul Hasan, who was also rewarded for his domestic performances, voiced a similar sentiment. “The recall only gave me the message that everything is not finished yet. I can still live with my dream of returning to the national side.”
The new selection committee of which Akram Khan, the cricket operations committee chairman, is the convenor picked their first team and there was no surprise except the recall of players like Nafees, Rakibul and left-arm spinner Suhrawardi Shuvo to the national fold. 28-year old Rakibul's last international match was a Test against West Indies in November 2011, 31-year old Nafees last played against Zimbabwe in April 2013 at Harare and Suhrawardi Shuvo in October 2011 against West Indies.
“We recalled Nafees considering his performances in this year's BCL [Bangladesh Cricket League] and DPL [Dhaka Premier League]. We want to see his fitness in the prolonged camp as we need a back-up opener for the national side.
“Rakibul is a good player for longer-version cricket and he has been performing well in the domestic competitions. Actually we recalled some older guys not only for their domestic performance but also to see how they take the opportunity during a long camp,” said selection panel chairman Minhajul Abedin.
Nafees was very much aware of his fitness issues. “There had been complaints about my fitness while I was in the national side but I worked really hard with my fitness over the last few years. And definitely I will try my best to improve it in the national camp. I want to capitalise on this chance. The question is not whether I will ultimately get the chance but for me is about how I can ready myself to cash in on any chance,” said Nafees.
“In the last one-and-a-half years I worked hard and scored runs with the only hope that it will revive my international career. Now the opportunity has come to me and I need to capitalise on it,” said Rakibul.
Minhajul however explained the reason behind the exclusion of Marshall Ayub, Shamsur Rahman, Abu Hider Rony and Saqlain Sajib even though they have had substantial performances in the domestic circuit as he said that they have been considered for the High-Performance training.
Meanwhile, England will arrive in Dhaka on September 30 to play two Tests and three ODIs against the Tigers in Dhaka and Chittagong.
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Liton Das, Anamul Haque, Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Mithun, Shahriar Nafees, Rakibul Hasan, Mominul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah Riyad, Nasir Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Nurul Hasan, Shuvagata Hom, Sabbir Rahman, Arafat Sunny, Taijul Islam, Suhrawardi Shuvo, Jubair Hossain, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Muktar Ali, Kamrul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Mohammad Shahid, Taskin Ahmed and Rubel Hossain.