Bangladesh Cricket Board has opted against picking former skipper Mashrafe Mortaza in the 24-man preliminary squad for the three-match ODI series against West Indies. The board announced the squad on Monday, effectively putting his future as an international cricket in disarray.
Mortaza remained the major talking point ahead of the announcement considering he had proved his fitness and showed that his skill level hadn’t dimmed during the recently-concluded Bangabandhu T20 Cup, where he picked up his maiden five-wicket haul. Mortaza, who had quit ODI captaincy during the last home series against Zimbabwe, had made hismelf available as a player. Though expectations of his retirement have been rife since the end of the 2019 World Cup, he opted to stay on and keep playing.
However, selectors and team management was more inclined to look forward to the 2023 World Cup and thus, did not include him in the ODI squad against West Indies, which will be their first series after a 10-month gap.
”We have full respect for him (Mortaza) as he had given lot for us. It was a difficult decision but we have to accept reality,” BCB chief selector Minhajul Abedin told reporters at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Monday.
”We have taken this decision talking with the team management and everyone concerned. It’s a big opportunity for the player who will replace him in the team,” he said.
”I have spoken with him(Mortaza) and there is no sort of misunderstanding between us. He said he wants to continue playing domestic cricket,” he said.
”The team management had given plan to us and we have shared our plan and we want to take the cricket ahead and so we have taken this decision. We have to give chance to youngster,” he said.
”We are beginning this series without Mortaza but we are keeping an eye on the 2023 World Cup. Our team management had given us a plan where the vision is 2023 World Cup and keeping that in mind we decided not to include him,” he added.
All-rounder Shakib-Al-Hasan has returned to the Test and ODI squad after completing his one year ban imposed by International Cricket Council for failing to report corrupt approaches.
Meanwhile, BCB has also announced the preliminary squad for the Test series against the Windies.
Preliminary Squad for ODI Series:Tamim Iqbal Khan, Taskin Ahmed, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Al Amin Hossain, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Md. Shoriful Islam, Mushfiqur Rahim, Hasan Mahmud, Md Mithun, Saif Uddin, Liton Kumer Das, Mustafizur Rahman, Md Mahmud Ullah, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Afif Hossain Dhrubo, Taijul Islam, Musaddek Hossain Saikat, Nasum Ahmed, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Parvez Hossain Emon, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Mahadi Hasan, Naim Sheikh, Rubel Hossain
Preliminary Squad for Test Series:Momimul Haque Showrab, Taskin Ahmed, Tamim Iqbal Khan, Syed Khaled Ahmed, Shakib Al Hasan, Hasan Mahmud, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mustafizur Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Md Mithun, Taijul Islam, Liton Kumer Das, Quazi Nurul Hasan Sohan, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Shadman Islam, Mohammed Saif Hasan, Nayeem Hasan, Abu Jayed Chowdhury Rahi, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury