Bangladesh in New Zealand, 2007-08 December 19, 2007

Bangladesh call for Rajin Saleh

Cricinfo staff

Rajin Saleh last played an ODI in October 2006 © AFP

As a result of their second injury scare of the week, Bangladesh have called up Rajin Saleh as a potential replacement for middle-order batsman Tushar Imran.

Imran sat out Bangladesh's second tour match, a wash-out against Northern Districts at Second Park, with a sore left shoulder. The 23-year-old will undergo a fitness test on December 28, the morning of the second one-day international in Napier.

Gazi Ashraf, the Bangladesh Cricket Board's cricket operations manager, said that the board was concerned with the growing injuries. "We are trying to be extra cautious of the situation in New Zealand. We want to make sure that there is no shortage of batsmen in the coming days if there is more injury problems," he told the Daily Star. "If he [Tushar] has to play the one-dayers he will, otherwise he can stay for the Tests."

Saleh, 24, has played 43 ODIs and 22 Tests, averaging 27.19 and 23.92 respectively. He will leave Bangladesh on December 24. Chairman of selectors Rafiqul Alam said that Rajin's good form in the National Cricket League boosted his call-up ahead of others. "Tushar's injury concerns actually made us think of a batsman to send early as a precautionary measure. We did not consider Habibul Bashar for the one-dayers in the first place and as Shahriar Nafees is an opener, we had to decide on Rajin for his four half-centuries and that unbeaten 131 against Khulna in the last match."

Uncapped left-arm medium-fast bowler Sajidul Islam was earlier called up to replace the injured Syed Rasel, who has been ruled out of Bangladesh's three-ODI and two-Test tour.

Bangladesh lost their first tour match, also against ND, by seven wickets and have two more 50-over opportunites before the ODI series kicks off in Auckland on Boxing Day.