Bangladesh in Australia 2008 August 13, 2008

Nafees opts out of Australia tour

Cricinfo staff

After Shakib Al Hasan, it's now Shahriar Nafees' turn to choose academics over cricket © AFP

Bangladesh have made a last-minute change to their 15-member squad for the three-ODI series in Australia, after Shahriar Nafees, the left-hand opening batsman, opted out of the tour to focus on his studies. Nazimuddin has been named as his replacement.

Nafees, a student of the Dhaka University, said the hectic international schedule was taking a toll on his academics. "I always give importance to my academic career," he told the Daily Star. "I have already lost one-and-a-half years of my studies and have decided to complete it this time. I am already three semesters behind my classmates."

He made the request in a letter to the BCB on Tuesday. "It was not an easy decision for me and I don't think I could have taken it before the team was selected," he said. "Actually, it would be very difficult for me to complete my examination in future if I skip it this time because we have a number of series after the Australia tour."

Chief selector Rafiqul Alam admitted Nafees' pullout was a setback, but understood his concerns. "I think it's very important for anybody to complete his examination. We have been informed that Nafees opted out due to the sudden announcement of his university exam schedules.Thus we have no choice other than picking Nazimuddin. No other opener is available as Junaid Siddique is also out of form."

Nazimuddin, who was dropped from the squad due to poor form, would be looking to make most of the opportunity this time around. He is likely to partner Tamim Iqbal as opener, but the team management will arrive at a decision after watching him and Mehrab Hossain jnr in the warm-up matches.

Shakib Al Hasan, the allrounder, had also skipped Bangladesh' recent assignments, the Kitply Cup and the Asia Cup, to focus on his studies. He has been included in the team for Australia.