Ashraful to lead Bangladesh's World Twenty20 campaign
Bangladesh have included two uncapped players, Shamsur Rahman and Mithun Ali, in their 15-man squad, led by Mohammad Ashraful, for the World Twenty20 beginning on June 5 in England. Bangladesh also included Abdur Razzak in the squad. Razzak had been suspended in December 2008 for a suspect bowling action and was cleared only in March.
"Shamsur has been batting tremendously in recent years," Bangladesh's chief selector Rafiqul Alam told AFP. "He can bat at number three which has been a weak link in our batting. He is also a brilliant fielder. Mithun also scored heavily in the leagues. He is a hard-hitting batsman and can also double up as wicketkeeper."
Rahman is a 20-year-old batsman who has represented Bangladesh at the Under-19 level. He averages nearly 29 and has one century and ten fifties from 28 first-class matches. Mithun, a wicketkeeper, is 19 and has played only 13 first-class games, averaging 22 with a hundred and two half-centuries. His List A record is more impressive, an average of 35 and a strike-rate of 104.
"If you look at the side we have picked you'll find that this is a nice blend of experience and youth. This is a good fielding unit with some explosive batsmen and proven slow bowlers," Alam said. "The best thing is that the boys have played together for a long time at different levels and form the nucleus of the national team that has also performed creditably against New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. We made it to the Super Eight in the last World Twenty20 competition and the initial target will be to repeat that and I am very hopeful that we'll play some quality cricket in England."
Bangladesh have been placed in Group A along with India and Ireland and will play their group matches at Trent Bridge on June 6 and 8.
Squad: Mohammad Ashraful (capt), Mashrafe Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal, Junaid Siddique, Raqibul Hasan, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Naeem Islam, Abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain, Syed Rasel, Mahmudullah, Rubel Hossain, Shamsur Rahman, Mithun Ali.