Bangladesh news January 28, 2018

Razzak recalled for Tests after nearly four years

© AFP

The Bangladesh selectors have recalled veteran left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak for the Chittagong Test against Sri Lanka, as further cover for the injured Shakib Al Hasan.

Razzak's addition makes it a 16-man Test squad after the selectors also included left-arm spinner Sunzamul Islam and allrounder Tanbir Hayder on Saturday evening, hours after Shakib was ruled out of the Test. Shakib sustained a left hand little finger injury during the tri-series final.

Razzak, 35, returns to the side after over three years during which he was overlooked in all formats; even for this Test side, someone as inexperienced as Nayeem Hasan was considered ahead of him.

Razzak recently became the first Bangladeshi bowler to take 500 first-class wickets, and has been the standout performer in Bangladesh in the format in the last few years. He leads this season's wicket-takers' list with 40 scalps in nine matches, combined in BCL and NCL.

But Razzak has a modest Test record, having taken only 23 wickets in 12 Tests across nearly eight years. Since his last Test in February 2014, however, he has taken been the top wicket-taker in Bangladesh domestic first-class cricket, with 244 wickets. The next best during the same period has been Sunzamul who is behind by 94 wickets.

During the last three years, the selectors have instead picked the likes of Taijul Islam, Mehidy Hasan and Jubair Hossain for Tests and Arafat Sunny, Saqlain Sajib, Sunzamul and Tanbir for the shorter formats. The selectors have often cited Razzak's fitness and fielding for not picking him, with suggestions that picking him would be like taking a step back.

Squad for first Test: Mahmudullah (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mosaddek Hossain, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Kamrul Islam, Mehidy Hassan, Rubel Hossain, Nayeem Hasan, Sunzamul Islam, Tanbir Hayder, Abdur Razzak.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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