Sabbir, Shafiul and Taskin might return for NZ series: Mashrafe

Sports Correspondent

22nd January, 2019 11:14:26 printer

Bangladesh National Cricket Team skipper Mashrafe Mortaza on Tuesday hinted that Sabbir Rahman along with pace bowler Shafiul Islam and Taskin Ahmed might return to the national squad for the three match ODI series against New Zealand scheduled to commence in February.

The ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) is expected to play a crucial role for few national discards as the selectors are set to announce the Tigers one day squad on Wednesday. There have been quite a few names with their performance but it looks Sabbir Rahman is all set to return while there is a chance for either Taskin Ahmed or Shafiul Islam to eventually make the cut.

On Tuesday, Mashrafe spoke about Taskin and Shafiul’s performance and claimed that there is little chance of making any huge changes in the national side.

“I think Taskin is doing well along with Shafiul. Sabbir also played well in the previous match. But if you look overall, it is unlikely to have any huge changes in the side,” Mashrafe told reporters on Tuesday.

“There are a few other players, if they can perform well there is good chance for them too. But still the tournament is a long way to go,” Mashrafe told the reporters when asked about the local performers who might have caught his eyes in the BPL.

Taskin who played his last ODI back in 2017, lost his place due to poor performance along with injury issues, has been in good shape in the BPL playing for Sylhet Sixers. So far the right arm seamer bagged 14 wickets in seven matches played.

Another pacer Shafiul also remained instrumental for Rangpur Riders where he picked up 13 wickets in eight matches.

Meanwhile Sabbir’s six month international ban after the cricketer allegedly abused a fan in social media is set to finish in February, which means that the right hander is also in consideration for the selection.

After missing out with the bat for Sylhet Sixers in the first five matches, Sabbir finally managed to score 85 runs against Rangpur in the previous game. Mashrafe who have high hopes over Sabbir informed that it will be important for the hard hitting batsman to continue his performance in the coming days.

“I won’t say that Sabbir had done exceptional but he did play well against us in the last game. He was included in the national team because of the ability he showed in the previous game and he has the ability to play such type of cricket. There are high hopes for him and I hope he will be able to continue that,” Mashrafe said.

Bangladesh will tour New Zealand just after completing the BPL in the first week of February where the visitors will take part in the first of the three match ODI series in Napier on February 13. The Tigers will play their next two games on February 16 and 20 which will be followed by the three match Test series against the Kiwis.