Bangladesh in Zimbabwe, 2003--04 January 24, 2004

Bashar to lead Bangladesh in Zimbabwe

Wisden Cricinfo staff



Habibul Bashar: the new man at the top
© Getty Images

Habibul Bashar has replaced Khaled Mahmud as Bangladesh's Test captain for their forthcoming tour of Zimbabwe. Mahmud, who captained Bangladesh in nine winless Test matches, did not even make the squad.

Usually the Bangladesh board selects a captain and then names a side, but earlier this month it announced that it would let the selectors pick the squad before naming the captain, and Bashar was deemed as the best man for the job.

Bashar, 31, averages over 36 in Test matches, and has scored two Test centuries, against Zimbabwe and Pakistan. Faruq Ahmed, the chief selector, said, "We chose the best player for the captain's job."

Dav Whatmore, the coach, added: "This is the best possible side we have now. They are confident of doing better."

The squad also included Manjurul Islam Rana, the uncapped left-arm spinner, while Shariar Hossain was recalled three years after his only Test appearance.

But spare a thought for Mahmud. He came under increasing pressure during his 11 months in charge, mainly due to his own bad form. He was even booed by the home crowd during England's tour of Bangladesh last year, and with the new selection policy, backed by Whatmore, his days as captain always looked numbered.

The squad is due to tour Namibia from January 28, where they will play a three-day match and five one-dayers before moving to Zimbabwe on February 10.

Squad Habibul Bashar (capt), Rajin Saleh, Khaled Mashud (wk), Tapash Baisya, Hannan Sarkar, Shariar Hossain, Mohammad Ashraful, Tareq Aziz Khan, Manjurul Islam Rana, Anwar Hossain Monir, Mushfiqur Rahman, Alok Kapali, Mohammad Rafique, Alamgir Kabir, Monjurul Islam, Al Shahriar.