Bangladesh named West Indies fast bowling great Courtney Walsh as interim coach for next month's tri-nation Twenty20 series in Sri Lanka.
Walsh has been Bangladesh's fast bowling coach since early 2016 but had never been called on to take charge of the entire squad.
Bangladesh have been without a head coach since October when Chandika Hathurusingha, a former Sri Lankan batsman, quit after three years at the helm to join his struggling home team.
Former skipper Khaled Mahmud filled the void as team director recently, when Bangladesh lost a Test and Twenty20 home series against Sri Lanka.
“Walsh has vast experience and everyone respects him as well,” Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan told reporters.
Bangladesh named a 16-man squad for the tri-nation Twenty20 against Sri Lanka starting March 6. India is the other team in the tournament.
All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has been included despite a niggling finger injury that forced him out of the recent Sri Lanka series. Off-spinner Mehedi Hasan will fill in as back-up.
Hassan said Shakib could bowl but not bat so they would rest him in the lead-up to the tournament.
“His finger was swollen. So we can't take any risk with Shakib,” he said.
Fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza turned down requests from the board to emerge from Twenty20 retirement to feature in the tournament.
There are five changes to the Twenty20 squad against Sri Lanka.
Opener Imrul Kayes, paceman Taskin Ahmed and wicketkeeper-batsman Nurul Hasan have returned along with Mehedi and regular skipper Shakib.
Mohammad Saifuddin, Mahedi Hasan, Zakir Hasan, Afif Hossain and Mohammad Mithun were dropped.
Squad: Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Mahmudullah Riyad (vice captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Hider, Abu Jayed, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Islam, Nurul Hasan, Mehedi Hasan.
Shakib Al Hasan named Bangladesh captain for Nidahas Trophy
Bangladesh announced their squad for the Nidahas Trophy and Shakib Al Hasan will captain the team in the Tri-Series. Bangladesh will be joined by India and the host Sri Lanka in a T20I Tri-Series which begins on March 6 in Colombo. The return of Shakib, recovering from a finger injury, was confirmed by Banglades Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan but he added that he may be avaialble for only “one or two ” matches.
Apart from Shakib, two other players made their return to strengthen the squad. Taskin Ahmed and Mehidy Hasan are back in the squad for Bangladesh which five other players, who were part of the T20Is against Sri Lanka, missed out. Zakir Hasan, Afif Hossain, Mohammad Mithun, Mahedi Hasan and Mohammad Saifuddin are the ones to miss out.
“We are still not up to the mark in T20s. We want to prepare an 18-member pool for the 2020 World T20s, which is why we picked some of them in the home series [earlier this month] after they did well in the BPL,” BCB chief selector Minhajul Abedin was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Bangladesh have gone with Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar as their openers with Imrul Kayes as their third opener. Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman and Mushfiqur Rahim will strengthen the middle order with Shakib. Out of these names, question were raised ont he selection of Kayes and Sabbir.
Kayes averages 9.15 in 14 T20Is over eight years while Sabbir has only one double digit score in last five international innings. Minhajul justified the selections saying that they needed players with more experience.
“Imrul has been included as the third opener because we were considering batsmen who are good against fast bowling. He opens for us in Tests. India has a lot of good fast bowlers. We have gone for an experienced player because we had a bad series against Sri Lanka. Sabbir has the most runs in T20s in the last year,” Minhajul said. “He has the experience. We have considered him because we are playing against two experienced sides away from home. I am hopeful because he was also picked in the PSL.”
Taskin’s inclusion, according to Minhajul, was made on the insistence on Shakib. “The captain said that since we are playing in Premadasa where the ground is large and we need someone quick, we picked Taskin Ahmed who has the ability to bowl yorkers and bouncers,” he said. “Among all the fast bowlers in Bangladesh, Taskin is the fastest. The team management has a plan for him.”
Squad: Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Hider, Abu Jayed, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Islam, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan