Bangladesh tour of Sri Lanka 2012-13 February 27, 2013

Shahriar ruled out of SL Tests

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Bangladesh's pre-tour misery continued after Shahriar Nafees' hand injury ruled him out of the Test series against Sri Lanka. Nafees told the chief selector, Akram Khan, of his lack of confidence in gripping the bat comfortably. He will be replaced by Mohammad Ashraful who has scored two centuries this domestic season. Ashraful is making a comeback into the Test side after 15 months.

"Shahriar Nafees had a freak accident at home couple of days ago, so he has withdrawn from the tour," coach Shane Jurgensen said. "He will be border-line for the first Test, so we want to ensure that we go into the Test series with a settled group, so Mohammad Ashraful will replace him."

Nafees injured his left palm while trying to clean his bat with a sharp object on Monday and required stitches. Physio Vibhav said on Tuesday that Nafees would be fit in time for the first Test, but the decision remained with the batsman.

"As far as Shahriar Nafees is concerned, I don't think it [the injury] would be a big problem," Singh said. "His stitch should be removed in seven days time and he can start batting after 10 days. We just need to alter his training schedule."

The physio's schedule would have meant Nafees being ready to bat on March 7, the day before the first Test, but it is clear the Bangladesh management are unwilling to travel to Sri Lanka with a player unlikely for the practice match before the Test. Already, Tamim Iqbal's wrist injury means he could be rested for the three-day game in Matara to have him fully fit for the Test.

Nafees' replacement has also created some confusion. Ashraful was not in the 25-man preliminary squad, having been kept out due to his inconsistency. Captain Mushfiqur Rahim however said that the batsman's experience in Sri Lanka and his recent centuries in the BCL and BPL have given him confidence.

"We need someone like him in the side because we have plenty of newcomers like Anamul Haque, Mominul Haque and Marshall Ayub," Mushfiqur said. "He has also made runs in Sri Lanka and is currently in decent form, so I hope his confidence will be better and he can be a positive to the side."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • The_Ashes on March 2, 2013, 23:10 GMT

    @Bangladesh5 - You're not making much sense because these are Raqibul International stats they don't lie even his domestic stats are not much different. Just because he performed in a one off final and failed most of the time earlier in the season doesn't mean he should automatically be selected. Yes I do know much about the game you don't know me :P

  • Bangladesh5 on March 2, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    @Rafelgibt. Thanks brother. That's what I'm trying to get at. Ash should not have been selected. There were better performers in the domestic circuit. Agreed that domestic quality in BD is poor but if that's the case, then why can't Ash score? I've watched Raqibul and yes his stats aren't great but he has quality. Don't believe me? Coach Ian Pont has stated numerous times that he's a good batsman who works very hard and is driven to get better. Ash is also very hard working individual but he has a low cricketing IQ and can't take pressure. Raqibul has shown higher cricketing IQ in the time he's played and dug BD out of tough situations.

    Like I said before, I wish Ash all the best and really hope he does well.

  • Bangladesh5 on March 2, 2013, 20:44 GMT

    @The_Ashes. All you did there was bring up stats without bringing up anything else. If that's how you base your argument, then it shows you don't know much about the game and therefore it would be impossible to argue with you.

  • Rafelgibt on March 2, 2013, 16:57 GMT

    @Bangladesh5 on (March 1, 2013, 14:48 GMT) Im 100% agree with you that either Mehrab jnr or Raqibul should have been got into the team.As Herath is there in the SL team and most of the overs he is going to bowl; so my tag was for Mehrab jnr.But not in my wildest dreams Ashraful.I really like the tag you mentioned about Asraful -"If an avg of 23 after 50+ Tests and 150+ ODI's doesn't prove your a failure, then I don't know what will."Very well said brother.

  • The_Ashes on March 1, 2013, 19:17 GMT

    @Htc-Android - Anamul is better batsman than any Sri Lanka young batsman :P he was also the top run scorer at the under-19 world cup last year by a distance :P

  • The_Ashes on March 1, 2013, 19:15 GMT

    @Bangladesh5 - You're funny! Raqibul, Junaid, Aftab etc are all the same. Raqibul averaged 19 in tests and averages 27 in one day Cricket despite playing over 50 games with still no 100. He is not a talented player and just because players perform at domestic level doesn't mean he's cut out for International level. Bangladesh first class structure is of low standard.

  • Bangladesh5 on March 1, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    @warm_coffee. What Mahmood said. What's the point of playing so many matches and still not being able to learn? What kind of advice can he give? He himself has been a failure at the international level. And what type of message are you sending to the other domestic players who performed better than him and still got overlooked? You have to pick players that give you a better chance to win rather than go with past performances. Raqibul might have not gotten his Test career going just yet but he's still a very young batsman. Also he's got qualities that other Bangladeshi batsmen don't have. He's calm, cool headed, and has a sound defensive technique. Not to mention he's extremely solid temperamentally. Also the thing is there is some expectation for him still because his career isn't finished but Ash has basically proved his career is over. Sad but true. If an avg of 23 after 50+ Tests and 150+ ODI's doesn't prove your a failure, then I don't know what will.

  • Htc-Android on March 1, 2013, 1:39 GMT

    @AzAb12754. Looks like u never know the old SLteams history. Players like sanga, Mahela, Vaas, Murali, Malinga(he never played cricket until his 20s), Mendis neve played for SL u19 team.lol... Anamul scored a hundred in match so whats the big deal. U guys speak like u already produced a lara/Amla.

  • dummy4fb on February 28, 2013, 18:11 GMT

    @warm_coffee With experience you get better, honed with more physical skills, wiser - using something called the brain and ultimately earn the word "professional". Professionals do make occasional mistakes at their work, but they are far from being inconsistent and inaccurate. Can you say the same thing about Ash, honestly. I understand the enthusiasm and emotional euphoria he brings to the table, but bottom line, current form and performance should be the number one criteria and guiding principle "before anything" to bring anybody in. So, you be the best judge.

  • Joamiq on February 28, 2013, 17:57 GMT

    Perhaps in some dreamworld Ashraful averages 40+, but in reality he does not average even 30 in any format. How many failed comebacks do we need to see from him before it is decided that he simply is not good enough to play for Bangladesh?