Uncapped trio exemplify long-term planning | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 17, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:11 AM, January 17, 2021

Uncapped trio exemplify long-term planning

With the inclusion of three uncapped cricketers in the form of pacers Hasan Mahmud and Shoriful Islam and off spinning all-rounder Mahedi Hasan in the 18 member ODI squad, the selectors have taken the first steps towards a long-term plan.

The upcoming home series against the West Indies, starting from January 20, will also see the return of all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who was included in the team after completing a one-year ban from all cricketing activities imposed by the ICC for failing to report corrupt approaches from a bookie.

With nine batsmen, five seamers, two left-arm spinners and two off-spinners in the squad, Minhajul Abedin opined that the 18-member squad had all the variety and combination that would be needed to form the best possible side for the series.

"Considering everything, I think we have stepped into the first stage of our planning with the upcoming series. I hope we will be able to play positive cricket and get going. We have kept the 2023 ICC World Cup in mind but we are thinking series by series. As we got West Indies on home soil, we want to begin our journey on a positive note.

"It will be a fresh start as we had a long break from international cricket. We have to start from scratch. In that context, there will be some pressure on the players and they have to accept that. With a mixture of youth and experience, I think we have a good side overall," Minhajul told the media yesterday.

There were several changes to the squad that was part of Bangladesh's last international assignment against Zimbabwe last year. Former ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, pacers Shafiul Islam and Al Amin Hossain and opener Naim Sheikh missed out while Taskin Ahmed and Rubel Hossain returned.

The three-match ODI series against the West Indies will also be Tamim Iqbal's first assignment as ODI captain, with cricket's suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic denying him an opportunity since being given the role last year.

Earlier yesterday, a 24-member preliminary squad took part in the second and final practice game yesterday. Tamim struck 80 as his side chased down the 224-run target set by Mahmudullah XI with eight wickets in hand in the 45-over-per-side encounter at BKSP.

Apart from Tamim, Najmul Hossain struck 61 and Liton Das added 43 as they cantered home with 14.4 overs to spare.

Young Naim will probably feel unlucky not to be included in the squad despite being in good touch in both the practice matches. After scoring forty in the first game, the left-hander struck fifty in the second match for Mahmudullah XI yesterday.

Shakib also returned to the groove and scored 52 off 82 balls as Mahmudullah XI posted 223 for seven in 45 overs.

Among the three uncapped cricketers, Mahmud and Mahedi have already made their T20I debuts while young left-arm seamer Shoriful got a maiden call-up since impressing during Bangladesh's triumphant ICC Under-19 World Cup campaign last year.

Both young pacers Shoriful and Mahmud were rewarded for recent performances but the latter was also considered for his sheer pace and movement.

Off-spinning all-rounder Mahedi has been a prolific performer in the domestic circuit, with the ability to bowl with the new ball can and also use the long handle of the bat if needed.


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