Shakib named new Bangladesh Test captain
Shakib Al Hasan has been named Bangladesh's new Test captain, starting with the upcoming Sri Lanka tour next month. Mahmudullah will take over the vice-captaincy from Tamim Iqbal while the BCB is yet to announce a new coach. Shakib takes over from Mushfiqur Rahim who had replaced him in 2011.
BCB president Nazmul Hassan said that Shakib will lead the side in the two Tests against Sri Lanka, but did not confirm his tenure.
"We can't really talk about the exact reason for changing the captaincy. We now want Mushfiqur to focus on his batting and remain pressure-free," Hassan said.
Mushfiqur captained Bangladesh in 34 Tests, winning seven, losing 18 and drawing nine of them. He was in charge when Bangladesh beat England last year, and then Australia and Sri Lanka earlier this year, though there were plenty of questions about his captaincy. For instance, he was asked not to captain the side in the most crucial part of their win against England, with Tamim leading the side on the field.
Bangladesh lost seven of the nine Tests they played this year - losing two in New Zealand, one in India, drawing a two-match series in Sri Lanka 1-1, and drawing against Australia 1-1 at home before heading to South Africa, where they were whitewashed in all three formats. Under Mushfiqur, they lost the two Tests in South Africa by massive margins - 333 runs in Potchefstroom and an innings and 254 runs in Bloemfontein; Mushfiqur's captaincy had come under scrutiny in South Africa, and a decision on his future was expected once the team returned from the tour.
Shakib, who is also Bangladesh's T20 captain, had been rested for those two Tests in South Africa after he had requested for leave following the Australia series at home.
Leading Bangladesh in the longest format will not be new to Shakib but it is something he will take up after over six years; he led them in nine Tests in the past. His first Test as captain was against West Indies in 2009 before leading the side for seven more matches in the first half of 2010, and one more Test in August 2011, against Zimbabwe. His exit as captain in 2011 had led to a controversy after he fell out of favour with the then BCB chief Mustafa Kamal following an acrimonious Zimbabwe tour in August that year. Bangladesh won only one of those matches overall - against West Indies in 2009 - and lost the remaining eight.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84