Jubair in Bangladesh preliminary squad for WI tour
Legspinner Jubair Hossain has been included in Bangladesh's preliminary squad for the tour of the West Indies, the biggest surprise among the 25 players named. Jubair, an Under-19 player, will now report to trainer Mario Villavarayen on July 1, with the rest of the preliminary squad, to begin preparing for the mid-August tour.
Although he didn't play a game in the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year, Jubair impressed the Bangladesh management as a nets bowler over the last few months, with several players, coaches and selectors taking an interest in him.
Jubair is of short stature, comes off a few steps and whips up his arms but, deceptively, doesn't bowl quickly. He slows the pace down and lets the ball drift and turn.
He is an interesting choice for two reasons. Firstly, the Bangladesh selectors have been, in recent years, reluctant to pick someone so inexperienced. Secondly, his elevation leaves question marks over what first-class performances mean; someone like specialist legspinner Noor Hossain, who took 21 wickets in this year's first-class cricket, having also taken 20 and 22 in the previous two years, has been leapfrogged. Jubair has not played first-class cricket yet.
Bangladesh have never picked a specialist legspinner in Test matches while only Wahidul Gani, famous for mentoring Mohammad Ashraful and Shahriar Nafees as a youth coach, played a solitary ODI in the 1980s.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84