Ten days after announcing that it was his decision to drop Mahmudullah for the Colombo Test, BCB president Nazmul Hassan has said he was behind the decision to pick Mehedi Hasan for the ODIs against Sri Lanka.
Mehedi had returned to Dhaka from Colombo on March 20 with the other Test players who were not part of the ODI squad that was announced the previous week. But three days later he was added to the ODI side, for the first time in his career.
Hassan said that he first called chief selector Minhajul Abedin, telling him to include Mehedi in the ODI squad, before calling the player himself to ask him to make plans to return to Sri Lanka. He said Mehedi's inclusion in the playing XI for the first ODI was only decided on only after the team arrived at the Dambulla ground; there was discussion around whether left-arm spinner Sunzamul Islam could be added to the XI instead.
"I called up [Minhajul Abedin] Nannu to send over [Mehedi Hasan] Miraz," Hassan said. "I found out he is in Khulna, and told him that he must get back to Sri Lanka. Basically we wanted to keep him as an option because they have a number of quality left-hand batsmen. Miraz had been bowling well in the Tests and this is a very important series for us. But when I sat with the team that morning [of the ODI], it still wasn't decided if Miraz or Sunzamul [Islam] would be playing. It was finalised after coming to the ground."
Mehedi opened the bowling in the chase of 325 in Dambulla, sending down all ten over for figures of 2 for 43.
Last week when Hassan had spoken about his role in the Mahmudullah exclusion, he said that he takes "all the decisions". He has been vocal about selection decisions since the Afghanistan ODI series last September, and during the Bangladesh Premier League too. Incidentally, in June 2016 Hassan had said that the revamped selection committee would cut down his role in selection decisions.