Mahmud retires after axing as captain
Habibul Bashar: the new man at the top
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Khaled Mahmud has announced his retirement from international cricket, after being overlooked for Bangladesh's forthcoming tour of Namibia and Zimbabwe. Mahmud, who captained Bangladesh in nine winless Tests, had been under severe pressure for several months, in particular from his home crowds who took exception to his own run of poor form.
Habibul Bashar, the new captain, urged Mahmud to reconsider, saying that he was a good influence on the discipline of the team, but Mahmud claimed he had taken the decision after close consultation with his family.
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.
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.