Shakib retained as captain for Zimbabwe series
Shakib Al Hasan, has been retained as captain for the home one-day series against Zimbabwe, while Mashrafe Mortaza and Tamim Iqbal, both of whom were out injured, have returned to the Bangladesh squad. Mohammad Ashraful also returns, making yet another comeback after having been dropped for the last ODI series against New Zealand.
Shakib led the side to a historic whitewash against New Zealand, and was also the leading wicket-taker and run-scorer in the series. Mortaza, who was captain for the first game, injured his ankle and missed the remainder of the series. He had resumed bowling in the nets earlier this month in a bid to get fit for the Zimbabwe ODIs. The selectors were satisfied that he has recovered sufficiently, but have retained Shakib as captain. "Mashrafe is now fit and has been included in the side. But the board has decided to give the captaincy to Shakib for the Zimbabwe series," Rabeed Imam, the Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman, told AFP.
Bangladesh will also be bolstered by the return of key batsman Tamim - named the Test Player of the Year by the Wisden Cricketer magazine - who has recovered after undergoing surgery in September for a long-standing wrist problem. The injury bothered him throughout Bangladesh's tour of England earlier this year, and he missed the New Zealand series while undergoing post-surgery rehabilitation.
While Mortaza and Tamim were expected to be selected if they were fit, Ashraful's comeback is the latest in a year where he has been in and out of the team on account of his prolonged poor form. He was dropped for the New Zealand one-dayers, but was then handed a top-level central contract by the board in a sign he was close to the selectors' thoughts ahead of the 2011 World Cup. He recently led a second-string Bangladesh side to the country's first-ever Asian Games gold medal in the Twenty20 competition at Guangzhou. "Ashraful finds a place after his stellar performance in national cricket," Imam said.
With Tamim, Ashraful and Mortaza returning, batsmen Shahriar Nafees and Jahurul Islam, and seamer Syed Rasel, who were part of the squad against New Zealand, have been kept on standby. Uncapped allrounder Sabbir Rahman is also among the four players on standby.
Fast bowler Nazmul Hossain, who was also injured during the first ODI against New Zealand, has also been selected.
The five-match series, which starts on December 1 with the first game at Mirpur, will be Bangladesh's last ODI engagement before the World Cup.
Bangladesh squad:Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Mashrafe Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Mohammad Ashraful, Raqibul Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah, Naeem Islam, Abdur Razzak, Suhrawadi Shuvo, Shafiul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Nazmul Hossain
Standby: Shahriar Nafees, Jahurul Islam, Sabbir Rahman, Syed Rasel