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West Indies series: Mashrafe left out

The country’s highest wicket-taker in ODIs and longest-serving captain Mashrafe Mortaza has been left out of the preliminary squad for the West Indies series.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Monday announced the preliminary squads for ODIs and Tests.

Minhajul Abedin, the chief selector of BCB, said it was a collective decision of the selectors to put Mashrafe off for this series. “It was a tough move for us, but there was no other option.”

“Mashrafe has done a lot for the national team. We respect him. But at the end of the day, we had to face the reality and overlook him,” Minhajul said.

The chief selector also said he had a long conversation with Mashrafe before making the final decision to not include him in the team. “There is no chance of a miscommunication between the selectors and Mashrafe.”

The right-arm pacer played his last ODI in March last year against Zimbabwe in Sylhet. Next, he stepped down as the ODI captain of Bangladesh but announced himself available for selection.

“There were many options that we had to weigh up before making the final call on Mashrafe. We had to consider the team management’s plan and needed to think about the future of Bangladesh cricket as well,” Minhajul said.

Six uncapped players – Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Shoriful Islam, Hasan Mahmud, Nasum Ahmed, Parvez Hossain Emon and Mahedi Hasan – made it to the 24-member preliminary ODI squad.

Two of them – Yasir and Hasan – also featured in the 20-member Test squad.

Shoriful and Hasan Mahmud of Bangladesh’s Under-19 World Cup-winning squad are new faces in the ODI team.

Hasan drew attention with his right-arm fast bowling over the last two years while Shoriful is a left-arm pacer.

The right-arm fast bowler already played a T20 against Pakistan while Shoriful was one of Bangladesh’s key players in the country’s ICC U-19 World Cup triumph in South Africa last year.

Among the chaos of Mashrafe’s omission, Shakib Al Hasan returned to Bangladesh squad after serving a one-year ban imposed by the ICC. The star all-rounder will play both ODIs and Tests.

“We have not played any international match in the last 10 months. So, we have to begin everything from the scratch. Our main focus is the 2023 World Cup and the ongoing Test championship. We hope to play a good international series,” Minhajul said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh