Uncapped players fill Bangladesh’s cricket vacuum

September 22nd, 2008 - 4:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Sep 22 (IANS) With its top brass turning “Dhaka Warriors” of the Indian Cricket League (ICL), Bangladesh has recalled veterans and opted for several uncapped players in time for the New Zealand home series and the South Africa tour.The departure of some national players who have joined rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL) to be banned for ten years by Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has forced the selectors to bring back opener Nafis Iqbal, middle-order batsmen Tushar Imran, Rajin Saleh and left-arm spinner Enamul Haque.

On the other hand, uncapped players like opener Imrul Kayes, young middle order batsmen Shamsur Rahman, Nayeem Islam, left-arm spinner Suharwardi Shuvo, paceman Mahbubul Alam and wicketkeeper Sahagir Hossain were drafted into the senior side to fill the vacuum. Except Sahagir, all the uncapped players are now touring with the GP-BCB National Cricket Academy team in Sri Lanka.

The training camp under the guidance of Jamie Siddons, who returned from Australia early Sunday, will start Monday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur for the next month’s three-match one-day and two-match Test series against New Zealand, The Daily Star newspaper said Monday.

The Tigers (as the Bangladesh team is known) will play one Twenty20 International, three ODIs and two Tests in South Africa in November-December.

Nafis Iqbal, the nephew of former national skipper Akram Khan and the elder brother of national opener Tamim Iqbal, returned to the national side after more than two years in the wilderness. He had played 11 Tests and 16 ODIs earlier.

“There is no question about his potential and sometimes he wasn’t considered because of injury. Nafis’s last performance in the domestic season was also not bad,” said chief selector Rafiqul Alam.

“Players like Rajin (Saleh) and Tushar (Imran) were always in our consideration but definitely the sudden vacuum made way for them to be recalled in the national side. And you must understand that we always have limited options,” he said.

The former national player was very optimistic with the fresh inclusions.

“We were lucky enough that these particular players had been playing continuously with the A team or the academy. And I believe there are some players who have the potential to serve the national team for long,” Rafiqul said.

“Let’s see how these young guys take the opportunity. You never know, they might be better than the lost ones,” he said.

Rafiqul informed that left-arm seamer Syed Rasel is fully fit but middle-order batsman Rokibul Hasan, who suffered a finger injury during the one-day series in Australia, will be fit within the first week of next month.

“Rasel is fully fit but Rokibul will be okay before the series. On the other hand Mashrafe (Bin Mortaza) is sick,” he informed.

Preliminary Squad:

Tamim Iqbal, Zunaed Siddiqui, Mohammad Ashraful, Rokibul Hassan, Shakib Al Hasan, Mehrab Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wicketkeeper), Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain, Syed Rasel, Nazmul Hossain, Mahmudullah Riyad, Dollar Mahmud, Nafis Iqbal, Rajin Saleh, Tushar Imran, Enamul Haque, Imrul Kayes, Shamsur Rahman, Nayeem Islam, Sohrawordi Shuvo, Mahbubul Alam and Sahagir Hossain (wicketkeeper).

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