Injury rules Tamim out of Asia Cup
Bangladesh have not risked an injured Tamim Iqbal in the Asia Cup with the aim of having him fit for the World Twenty20 in March. Tamim had suffered a neck strain after the second Test against Sri Lanka and had missed the three-match ODI series, which ended on Saturday.
Ziaur, whose last ODI was against New Zealand in November, had recently struck 167 in a first-class game and is expected to fill the No. 7 slot in the order, strengthening the batting depth of the side.
Imrul was recently recalled to the Test side after more than two years and had struck a century on his comeback. The batsman last played an ODI for Bangladesh in December 2011 but has been performing well in domestic cricket recently.
Ziaur's selection ahead of the in-form allrounder Farhaz Reza was a surprise, but chief selector Faruque Ahmed said it was necessary to recall Ziaur, for his recent domestic form and the added option of his medium-pace bowling.
"The No 7 position is proving very important and therefore Ziaur Rahman gets in," Faruque said. "He is in form and has been performing consistently at domestic level. We will not be getting Tamim Iqbal in the Asia Cup. He has not recovered from an injury and it may take another week or so for him to return. Under the circumstances our priority is to have him fully fit for the ICC World Twenty20 and he will continue his rehabilitation.
Arafat Sunny will continue as cover for Shakib Al Hasan, who was handed a three-match ban by the BCB for an inappropriate gesture during the second ODI. Shakib will be available for selection after Bangladesh's first two games in the tournament.
Faruque also stressed that the squad, which was announced hours after Bangladesh went down 3-0 in the ODIs to Sri Lanka, was capable of bouncing back in the Asia Cup.
"There are two left-arm spinners in the squad other than Shakib Al Hasan," Faruque said. "This was necessary as we will not have Shakib's services in the first two games. I believe we are not playing that badly. We just need to get a couple of results and I am confident the boys will be able to comeback from the disappointment of the series against Sri Lanka."
Bangladesh squad for Asia Cup: Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Anamul Haque, Imrul Kayes, Shamsur Rahman, Naeem Islam, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Ziaur Rahman, Abdur Razzak, Sohag Gazi, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Rubel Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan