BCB all set to hold captaincy discussion
The biggest question in Bangladesh cricket fraternity at present is who will succeed Tamim Iqbal as ODI captain after he stepped down due to injury problems.
By the looks of it, Shakib Al Hasan is in pole position to take up the reins of the side for the ODI World Cup in India, with Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan on Saturday saying that appointing Shakib is the "easiest choice".
Coach Chandika Hathurusingha is slated to return to the country on August 8th but, according to a BCB official, the team for the Asia Cup may very well be sorted and announced before the Sri Lankan arrives. But first, the team management would name the captain of the side before the squad is given by the selectors.
Shakib held the ODI captaincy previously from 2009 till 2011, winning 22 matches out of 47. He would also captain the side in specific games in 2015 and 2017. The overall record of 23 wins under Shakib sees him right behind Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (50) and Habibul Bashar (29) in the standings for most games won as Bangladesh captain.
Already the Test and T20I captain, it would not be surprising to see the all-rounder also made captain for the 50-over format. Meanwhile, Liton Das, who also captained Bangladesh in five ODI matches, winning three which includes the 2-1 series triumph over India at home last year, is also in the running.
From the current crop of players, veteran Mushfiqur Rahim is another who has captained the side in 37 games to win 11. With vast experience on his side, he may be unwilling to take on the role. Naturally, Liton was set to step in as skipper but the cricket board wants a long-term solution.
"We have not discussed captaincy yet. We have to take a break and think about it after taking some time. As I have said before, if it was one series, we could have gone with the vice-captain but now we have to think about the long term," Nazmul told reporters on Saturday while attending a programme to commemorate Sheikh Kamal's 74th birth anniversary.
The BCB president, however, was wary of suggesting Liton's name for such a big event as the World Cup.
"Shakib is the obvious choice [as captain] but can you say he will play for two years? We don't know that and so we need to know his plan and talk with the board.
"I think the easiest choice is Shakib and there is no problem with it," Nazmul had said regarding Shakib.
According to a BCB source close to the development, the BCB president is set to discuss captaincy with the candidates on Tuesday. Shakib would be the chief choice for the board and the BCB president would query Shakib regarding his interest in taking over.
Shakib has also captained the side in seven ODI World Cup matches, winning three and losing four. Given the Tigers' aspirations for a big performance in the upcoming event, BCB would want a performing captain leading from the front but keeping in mind Shakib's contribution in the 2019 World Cup, only his availability remains the question going forward.