Ashraful leads ODI squad to New Zealand
Mohammad Ashraful will lead Bangladesh's 15-man squad to play the three-match ODI series in New Zealand next month. Mashrafe Mortaza has been named his deputy; the tenures of both the captain and vice-captain have been extended until December 2008.
Opener Shahriar Nafees and offspinner Mahmudullah have been dropped from the team that were run over by Sri Lanka in July. They have been replaced by Junaid Siddique, who scored 71 in the only match he played during the ICC World Twenty20, and Nazmul Hossain, an up-and-coming fast bowler.
The squad has two other openers in Javed Omar and Tamim Iqbal, while the bowling attack will be lead by Mortaza, and includes Syed Rasel, Abdur Razzak and Shahadat Hossain, besides allrounders Shakib al Hasan, Mehrab Hossain jnr and Farhad Reza. Mushfiqur Rahim continues as wicketkeeper, while Aftab Ahmed - who has often thrilled with his brief but breathtaking stroke play - will play alongside Ashraful in the middle order.
Bangladesh, who have only played two Tests previously in New Zealand, are scheduled to begin their tour with a warm-up match against Northern Districts starting on December 19 although there has been talk of organising a charity Twenty20 match to raise money for the cyclone victims in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh squad Mohammad Ashraful (capt), Mashrafe Mortaza, Javed Omar, Tushar Imran, Abdur Razzak, Shakib Al Hasan, Syed Rasel, Aftab Ahmed, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Shahadat Hossain, Junaid Siddique, Farhad Reza, Mehrab Hossain jnr, Tamim Iqbal, Nazmul Hossain.