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July 31, 2008
Suhrawadi Shuvo will lead a 14-member Bangladesh National Cricket Academy squad for a short tour of South Africa next month. The tour includes two four-day games in Pretoria, starting August 8, followed by three one-dayers.
Making a comeback from injury is Marshall Ayub, the Under-19 batsman. Announcing the squad at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur on Tuesday, Rafiqul Alam, the chief selector, said Ayub had fully recovered from the knee injury which kept him out for a year.
"Marshall is now fully fit to play competitive cricket and has been practising with the academy players for the last one and a half months," Alam said.
The squad doesn't include any of the Bangladesh A cricketers currently in England. "We picked the best side from the available 19 academy players as six of them are travelling with the Bangladesh A team in England," Alam said. "We excluded the players touring in England as getting a South African visa for them from England would be difficult."
Shakil Kasem, the head of the development committee, said such tours are important to cover for the shortcomings of the domestic structure in the country. He added that former and current national players like Mohammad Rafique, Khaled Mashud and Mohammad Ashraful will interact with the squad on August 2, two days before departure.
"It is the breeding ground. The next four-five years is very important for us because we have to produce some quality players to fill the gap," Kasem said. "As our domestic competitions are not organised enough, where will these players get seasoned before entering the international stage? So we have to concentrate more on the academy team."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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