Bangladesh sans Shakib, Mahedi set to depart for UAE
Bangladesh are gearing up for the T20 World Cup in Australia next month with two T20I series in the UAE and New Zealand, respectively.
The Tigers are set to depart on Thursday for the UAE to play a two-match T20I series against the hosts, with the games to be held on September 25 and 27, respectively.
Bangladesh will return to Dhaka on September 28 before embarking on a long sojourn that will span the tri-nation series in New Zealand and the World Cup in Australia.
The team's preparations for the upcoming events after their return from a disastrous Asia Cup campaign were marred by incessant rain, which forced the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to explore more options.
The resulting T20I series against the UAE will help in that regard, with Dubai Sports City -- where the ICC Academy is also based -- providing an opportunity for preparations without any chance of rain.
T20I skipper Shakib Al Hasan will not be with the Tigers in the UAE, cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus told The Daily Star yesterday. The all-rounder is engaged in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) with Guyana Amazon Warriors.
In Shakib's absence, wicketkeeper-batter Nurul Hasan Sohan will lead the side in the UAE.
Opener Soumya Sarkar, pacer Shoriful Islam, and leg-spinner Rishad Hossain, all of whom were named as stand-by players for the T20 World Cup, have been included for the UAE tour.
Meanwhile, off-spinner Mahedi Hasan, who was dropped from the Tigers' World Cup squad, took a leave from the UAE tour.
The team will undergo fitness tests before their departure today, hoping that the UAE will provide opportunities for good preparations before the tri-nation series in New Zealand involving the hosts and Pakistan.