Critical decisions due before final call
As the fitness camp for the 32-member squad gets underway at the Sher-e-Bangla National stadium in Mirpur today, Bangladesh selectors will also enter the critical step to finalise squad for the upcoming Asia Cup and World Cup this year.
It will be interesting to see whether the criteria of the team-selection would eventually boil down to personal preferences, team combination or the need of experience. The selectors are thus in for an anxious ride in prioritising their agendas.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) seems to have a clear vision when it comes to having a plan with or without Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal for the coming days. However, the team management is bound to struggle in finding a replacement for the experienced left-hander.
Apart from Tamim, however, few names are already creating a lot of interest: the possibility of the return of experienced Mahmudullah Riyad or Soumya Sarkar -- which according to many is because of Tigers head coach Chandika Hathurusingha possessing a soft spot for the elegant stroke-maker.
Soumya was a major find of Hathurusingha during his first stint, where the left-hander made his mark with some blistering batting.
However, things have changed a lot over the years. Soumya, who last played an ODI back in 2021, was dropped due to his prolonged poor run of form with the bat. The team management had also tried to use Soumya as a seaming all-rounder but the 30-year-old could not turn the tide.
Soumya's latest inclusion in the ACC Emerging Asia Cup also raised plenty of eye brows as he failed to make impact while batting at number six position. It remains to be seen whether team management would go for a short-term solution for the mega event by bestowing the role of a finisher to Soumya.
It was learned that some part of the team management and board officials are not fully convinced over the potential inclusion of Soumya in the national team, considering his abysmal form for around the past year.
The talks over the inclusion of Riyad for the mega events based on his wealth of experience, on the other hand, has been widely discussed. At the same time, reservations exist within the team management over his fitness and form.
The 37-year-old, who was dropped since the England series in March this year, will feature in the preliminary camp from today. The topic of Riyad will be in midst before the selectors announce a 22–23-member squad later next week.
According to sources, it is still a 50-50 chance for Riyad to make the cut in the Tigers final squad for the upcoming events.
Tamim Iqbal, meanwhile, is rested for a week after the cricketer was administered a few injections as he currently remains under observation in the UK.
The 34-year-old is then expected to start his rehabilitation. According to sources, Tamim may take another dose of injection as part of his treatment process.
Such injections generally help players to manage pain within three months but pain may occur before the time frame. In that case, Tamim's call will remain as the final.