Sohan captain for Zim T20Is
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday named 28-year-old wicketkeeper-batter Nurul Hasan Sohan captain for the T20I series in Zimbabwe after deciding to rest regular skipper Mahmudullah Riyad for the T20Is. With Shakib Al Hasan having already been granted a break from the T20 series, the BCB also confirmed that two other seniors, Riyad and Mushfiqur Rahim, would be rested for the T20 series.
Rumours had been rife that members of the team management would sit with Riyad yesterday afternoon and cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus, team director Khaled Mahmud and all three selectors briefed the media following that meeting, which was slated to shed light on the immediate future of Riyad's T20I captaincy.
"We had a lot to think about in regards to T20s and we had been in discussion about the T20 team for a while since we have not been able to improve in the Test and T20 formats. Since Riyad was the T20 captain, we had been discussing his captaincy issue," Jalal told the media yesterday.
"We held discussions with Riyad and told him that we wanted to send a new team to Zimbabwe. A few seniors won't be there so we wanted to have a look at new players. We named Nurul Hasan to lead the side and informed Mahmudullah. We also notified Shakib and Mushfiqur that we were going to try some new players in their place."
Newly-appointed skipper Nurul said that his vision would be to get the team to play as a unit. "Obviously it is a big challenge, but I am up for it. I will try to keep the team together and make sure we play as a unit. I have some experience of captaining in the Dhaka Premier League, but obviously an international assignment as captain is a big challenge," Nurul, who had a good series with the bat in the West Indies following match-winning knocks in the DPL for Sheikh Jamal, told The Daily Star yesterday.
Nurul will be captain only for the Zimbabwe T20Is, team director Mahmud told the media. There had been rumours that Mahmudullah would be stripped of captaincy after the West Indies series and sources inside the BCB had previously informed that Shakib would be handed the T20 captaincy following the Zimbabwe series.
"It's not like Riyad will not return. Everyone needs a break at times, but we will decide on that later. It's just about creating opportunities for young players," Mahmud informed.
While the BCB said that Riyad and Mushfiqur had been rested, both have been included in the Zimbabwe ODIs slated to commence from August 5 after the completion of the T20Is on August 2. Thus, question marks arose over both seniors' T20I careers with the BCB looking to refurbish the team in the shortest format.
While Riyad could not be reached for comment, he took the decision positively, according to Khaled Mahmud.
Pacer Hasan Mahmud has been included for both formats in Zimbabwe while batter Parvez Hossain was called into the T20I squad.