Bangladesh announce squad for New Zealand series

Controversial Sabbir included against NZ ODI’s

Sports Correspondent

24 January, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh announce squad for New Zealand series

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) reduced the international ban on cricketer Sabbir Rahman as he is included in the 15-member national cricket team squad for the upcoming ODI series against New Zealand which also marked the return of Taskin Ahmed and uncapped Naeem Hasan.

Sabbir was included despite not making huge amount of runs in domestic cricket and his only noteworthy performance is the 85 runs innings which he scored in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), out of the six matches. The inclusion of Sabbir remained the talking point during the press conference attended by the national selectors to announce the New Zealand bound ODI squad followed by the Test squad for the tour of New Zealand.

Sabbir Rahman is still serving a six-month ban from international cricket. BCB on September 1 of 2018 handed Sabbir the six-month ban for his repeated off-field issues, the latest of which was his social network fiasco where he was alleged to have abused and threatened a fan on Facebook.

According to the sanction, Sabbir is expected to serve the ban until February 28. However, BCB Chief Selector Minhajul Abedin cleared the air saying that he was included only after the disciplinary committee informed them about his availability while Mashrafe Mortaza remained adamant about his inclusion in the squad during the selection committee meeting.

BCB Chief Selector Minhajul Abedin, in a press conference spoke about Sabbir’s ban term reduction when his attention was drawn regarding the inclusion of Sabbir despite him still serving the ban.

“We were informed by the disciplinary committee that he is available and only after we got the clearance did we include him in the squad. The board stated that he will be available from January 31 as they reduced his ban by one month,” told Minhajul Abedin.

“Let me make one thing clear about Sabbir. He was included as per the strong insistence of captain Mashrafe. He requested us firmly to include him and we have agreed with the captain,” he said.

“The team wants someone in the squad who can bat lower in the order with the ability to handle the pacers well,” he added.

“We have included him in the squad keeping the New Zealand tour and World Cup in mind. Let us see what he can do. The captain of the team and we are also confident about him,” stated Minhajul.

Pace bowler Taskin Ahmed, who last played his ODI’s in 2017 before being dropped due lack of form coupled by injury issues, also got his place back in ODI and Test squad.

Taskin was left out of the national team after his dismal show during Bangladesh’s South Africa tour back in 2017. He was recalled in the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka in 2018 but he failed to impress there as well.

Taskin recently had a great run in the ongoing season of BPL playing for Sylhet Sixers. He has taken 14 wickets in seven matches so far that helped him to get back his spot against Shafiul Islam.

Minhajul stated that Taskin’s form in the BPL has paved his way to the national side.

“Taskin was suffering from injuries but he was under our rehabilitation programme. We have nursed him enough to get back to his old form. He has been doing well in BPL and he came to our consideration for his recent performance,” said Minhajul.

“Taskin can bowl at express pace and that is something we considered before including him as it will be helpful in those condition,” said Minhajul adding that they have included uncapped Naeem Hasan as a back-up for Mehedi Hasan Miraz in the ODI’s.

Meanwhile, selectors also announced the Test squad that saw the return of Taskin Ahmed and Abu Jayed Rahi while Ariful Haque and Soumya paved the way for them.

ODI squad: Mashrafe Mortaza (Captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Mehedi Hasan, Mohammad Mithun, Saifuddin, Naeem Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Sabbir Rahman IN: Naeem Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Sabbir Rahman OUT: Imrul Kayes, Nazmul Islam, Abu Hider and Ariful Haque.

Test squad: Shakib Al Hasan (Captain), Mohammad Mithun, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Mehedi Hasan, Mustafizur Rahim, Taijul Islam, Khaled Ahmed, Naeem Hasan, Shadman Islam, Liton Das, Tamim Iqbal, Abu Jayed, Taskin Ahmed IN: Tamim Iqbal, Abu Jayed, Taskin Ahmed OUT: Soumya Sarkar and Ariful Haque.