New Delhi: Bangladesh have recalled all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin for the first two Twenty20 internationals of the home tri-series featuring Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, while off-spinner Mehidy Hasan has been dropped from the 13-member squad.
Saifuddin had sustained a back injury during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 and hasn’t played an international game since. Bangladesh chief selector Minhajul Abedin confirmed that the 22-year old all-rounder is fit to play in the shortest format.
“Saifuddin is fit to play,” Bangladesh chief selector Minhajul Abedin told Cricbuzz. “The physio said that he will be able to take the load of shorter version cricket and his back pain is not constant. He is already bowling and we need to be playing him while managing his workload.”
Mehidy Hasan, who could manage only two wickets from three outings in the ODI series against Sri Lanka has been dropped, while senior batsman Tamim Iqbal, who is on a leave is the other notable absentee. All-rounders Ariful Haq and Abu Hider off-spinner Najmul Islam and pacemen Rubel Hossain and Abu Jayed too, miss out from the squad.
With the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 in sight, Bangladesh selectors have opted for more young players in the side. While batting all-rounders Mahedi Hasan and Afif Hossain, both of whom had debuted in the home T20I series against Sri Lanka last year are making an international return, Yeasin Arafat, the right arm fast-medium bowler, gets a maiden call-up.
“We have included a few youngsters as we have a lot of Twenty20 matches in the coming days,” Abedin said. “Mahedi and Afif are considered our future prospects and we just want to see how they can cope with the pressures of international cricket. Mishu [Yeasin] is doing well in the domestic circuit for quite some days and we want to see how he fares at the international level.
“We have formed this squad looking forward and there is no reason to believe that those who couldn’t make it into the squad won’t have a chance in the upcoming matches. We have only named a squad for the opening two games.”
The hosts will play Zimbabwe in the series opener at Dhaka’s Shere Bangla NAtional Stadium on Friday, September 13.
Bangladesh squad for first two T20Is: Shakib Al Hasan (c), Liton Kumar Das, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Taijul Islam, Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mustafizur Rahman, Yeasin Arafat