Raqibul returns for South Africa ODIs
Raqibul Hasan, the middle-order batsman, returns to Bangladesh's limited-overs squad for the tour of South Africa. Besides the addition of Raqibul, who fractured his thumb in a recent ODI against Australia, in the 15-man squad, Bangladesh's selectors have dropped allrounder Mahmudullah from the 14 that played the recent three-ODI series at home against New Zealand. Fast bowler Nazmul Hossain takes his place.
Bangladesh, despite the loss of recent internationals to the ICL, have performed creditably against New Zealand. They pulled off a win in the first ODI in Mirpur, and nearly upset the visitors in the first Test in Chittagong. The three newcomers tried out in the series, Naeem Islam, Imrul Kayes and Mahbubul Alam - all three earned a call-up after impressing in the Academy tour of Sri Lanka - are part of the touring party for South Africa.
Raqibul will be a handy addition to Bangladesh's batting line-up, which has often failed to deliver in the recent past. A steady accumulator of runs, Raqibul has made 412 runs at 29.42 in 14 innings since his debut in the home ODIs against South Africa.
The squad, led by Mohammad Ashraful, begin the tour with the only Twenty20 international on November 5, followed by three ODIs. Bangladesh will also play two Tests in South Africa, the first of which starts on November 19 in Bloemfontein. During their last tour in 2002, Bangladesh were defeated comprehensively in the three ODIs and two Tests.
Mashrafe Mortaza will be Ashraful's deputy in the 15-man squad, which includes seven batsmen, one allrounder, a wicketkeeper, and six bowlers. Bangladesh's pool of talent was severely depleted when 14 players joined the ICL's latest franchise, the Dhaka Warriors. They include recent internationals Aftab Ahmed, Alok Kapali, Shahriar Nafees, Farhad Reza, Ghosh, Mosharraf Hossain and Nazimuddin.