Kapali omitted from 20-man training squad
Bangladesh have stepped up preparations for their inaugural tour of England in May and June, by naming a preliminary 20-man training squad that will assemble in Dhaka over the coming weeks. One notable omission is Alok Kapali, Bangladesh's underachieving allrounder, although there are two new additions in the left-handed batsman, Shahriar Nafees Ahmed and the Under-19 paceman, Shahadat Hossain.
Shahadat, reputed to be the fastest bowler in the country, was first spotted during the 2004 Under-19 World Cup in Bangladesh, and his 12 wickets in the first two Tests against Zimbabwe A were instrumental in their eventual clean sweep. Shahriar, meanwhile, made 218 runs against Zimbabwe A in the three Tests as a specialist opener, and given that both teenagers toured England with the Under 19s last year, they have a degree of experience despite their tender years.
The squad has been selected with England's early-season conditions in mind, and for that reason there are six pacemen in the 20-man squad, and four left-arm spinners. "We had considered two things before selecting the preliminary squad," Faruque Ahmed, the chief selector, told The Daily Star. "We thought that there was no need to make any changes from the last series against Zimbabwe. But we also felt the need to add a couple of new faces who have real potential."
Kapali aside, there are few surprises in the squad. The batsman, Tushar Imran and the seam bowler, Anwar Hossain Munir, have been recalled after consistent performances for the Bangladesh A team and the BCB XI respectively, as has the former captain and allrounder, Khaled Mahmud, whose form in Bangladesh's domestic competitions has been irresistible.
Preliminary squad Habibul Bashar (capt), Khaled Mashud (wk), Khaled Mahmud, Mohammad Ashraful, Javed Omar, Rajin Saleh, Nafees Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed, Tushar Imran, Shahriar Nafees Ahmed, Mohammad Rafique, Manzarul Islam Rana, Enamul Haque, Mashrafee Bin Mortuza, Tapash Baisya, Nazmul Hossain, Anwar Hossain Munir, Talha Jubair, Shahadat Hossain Rajib, Abdur Razzak Raj.