Injury pains leave BCB in a quandry

Shoriful Islam reacts after getting injured on Friday in Harare. Photo: AFP

The Bangladesh Cricket Board's desire to reform and start afresh in the T20 format appears to have taken a backseat, with disaster management more of a concern ahead of this month's T20 Asia Cup as the national team's injury list continues to grow.

Three Bangladeshi cricketers were injured in the first ODI of the three-match series on Friday, when Zimbabwe beat the Tigers for the first time in over nine years in the 50-over format.

Three other cricketers are yet to get the green signal as they undergo rehabilitation, which has posed a dilemma for the team management when it comes to even forming a squad for the Asia Cup, starting August 27 in the UAE.

The BCB already petitioned for three extra days to submit their squad for the Asia Cup squad and the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) granted them permission to submit the squad on August 11 instead of the cut-off date on August 8.

"As quite a few players are injured, it became difficult to submit the squad for the Asia Cup on time. Our request to extend the cut-off date was granted by the ACC," BCB cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus told The Daily Star yesterday.

Nurul Hasan Sohan, who was appointed as captain for the three-match T20I series in Zimbabwe, was ruled out of the tour with a finger injury ahead of the third T20I while in-form opener Liton Das was ruled out of the tour after suffering a grade-2 tear while batting in the first ODI on Friday.

Liton is expected to undergo a scan on August 7 after returning to Bangladesh. Generally, grade-2 tears take about four weeks to fully recover from. With Bangladesh set to begin their Asia Cup campaign on August 30, it seems selectors are willing to wait till the eleventh hour to make a call.

Left-arm seamer Shoriful Islam also sustained a knee injury while trying to take a return catch in the first ODI and had to leave the ground, prompting selectors to name Ebadot Hossain and Naim Sheikh as replacements for Liton and Shoriful for the third and final ODI.

The experienced Mushfiqur Rahim also raised injury concerns after the first ODI alongside 'Cutter Master' Mustafizur Rahman, who complained about niggles. Mohammad Saifuddin and Yasir Ali are also dealing with injuries.

The growing list has made it tough for the team management to even form a playing eleven for the second and series-saving ODI against Zimbabwe today.

According to sources, the BCB is expected to get medical reports on the injured players today.

There was further upheaval off the field as Shakib Al Hasan was almost announced as the captain of the T20I side ahead of the Asia Cup, but the board had to postpone the announcement after confusion related to a sponsorship deal between Shakib and betting site Betwinner's sister concern Betwinner news on his verified Facebook page on August 2.

It was learned that the board relayed the message to Shakib that he would only be made captain for the T20I format if the star all-rounder decides to back out from that deal.

Interestingly, the BCB has very few options. Board president Nazmul Hassan said that even Mahmudullah Riyad was in the captaincy shortlist but it is unclear if Riyad will be interested in taking up the role again.