Shakib becomes Test captain, Liton his deputy
Bangladesh star cricketer Shakib Al Hasan is back to being the captain of the Bangladesh Test side while the in-form wicketkeeper-batter Liton Das is set to be the vice-captain, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan made the announcement during a press conference following a board meeting today.
However, the BCB boss did not the mention the duration of the captaincy. Hassan further informed that they had three candidates, alongside Shakib and Liton, in mind while considering for the captaincy roles, but the identity of the third candidate was not revealed by the president as well.
"Three names were put forth by the board [for the leadership roles] and our option was to choose from any one of them. First of all, we decided that we will select a vice-captain alongside naming a captain [of the Test side]. Then we decided who was going to be the captain. And after the initial discussion, the conclusion that we came to was that Shakib Al Hasan will be the captain and Liton Das will be the vice-captain," Hassan said during the press conference today.
Ahead of the month-long tour of the West Indies, scheduled to begin later this month, the decision came as no surprise since Shakib was the frontrunner to replace Mominul Haque at the helm after Mominul, who had led the Tigers in 17 Tests in around the past two-and-a-half years, publicly announced his unwillingness to continue the skipper role in order to recover his dismal batting form, a few days ago.
Coincidently, it was during Bangladesh's tour of the West Indies which saw Shakib being assigned in charge of the Tigers' red-ball squad for the first time. Back in 2009, the then 22-year-old Shakib became the seventh Bangladesh Test captain and had successfully led the Tigers in the second Test of the two-match series, which the Tigers won 2-0 against the Caribbeans.
However, since then and spanning around a decade, the talismanic cricketer could only lead the Tigers in 14 Tests, the last of which ended up with a shocking defeat to Afghanistan in 2019 at home. Shakib fell out of the team right afterwards because of allegations of corruption and that brought forth the surprise entry of Mominul, someone with no reputation of being a leader, at the hot seat.
Mominul first led the side in the away Test against India at the end of 2019 and found himself with an extremely uphill battle, in a time when Bangladesh cricket were in complete turmoil following Shakib's two-year ban by the ICC and with other senior players unwilling to lead the Test side.
The high point during Mominul's 17 games in charge – the third most number of games captained by a Bangladesh crickter, behind Mushfiqur Rahim (34) and Habibul Bashar Sumon (18) -- arrived when the Tigers stunned a full-strength New Zealand side at their home soil earlier this year.
Now that Shakib has been reassigned as the Test captain, it would be interesting to see how the champion performer go about his business and whether he would be able to make his teammates perform at his level of consistency and bring the much-needed stability in the Bangladesh Test side.