Bangladesh recall Ashraful for World Twenty20
Mohammad Ashraful, who was dropped from all squads for the recent home series against England, has been recalled to Bangladesh's 15-member squad for the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies in April-May. There are no new faces in the squad, but two players who made their international debuts against England, batsman Jahurul Islam and left-arm spinner Suhrawadi Shuvo, have also been included.
Ashraful, who was dropped to sort out his poor batting form, received the backing of the selectors based on his potential as a big hitter in the game's shortest format. "Ashraful is a potential match-winner and his ability to improvise in limited-overs cricket makes him an important part of the team in this tournament," said Rafiqul Alam, the chairman of selectors. "We know that he is trying as hard as anybody to fulfill his enormous promise and we expect him to fire."
Jahurul, who made his Test debut in Mirpur earlier this month, was the leading run-scorer in the first-class National Cricket League with 965 runs at 68.92 for Rajshahi Division. "He (Jahurul) is capable of playing the big shots and by sheer weight of his consistent performance over the years at first-class, academy and club level he has earned his spot," Alam said. "He can also be our back-up wicketkeeper and his fielding is also good."
Another notable inclusion was that of fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza, who had opted out midway through the ODIs against England and the subsequent Tests following a disagreement over his fitness. However, he later joined his Kolkata Knight Riders team-mates at the ongoing IPL and the selectors are happy with the way he is shaping up.
"From the information we have received on Mortaza, he is fit and has been in full rhythm at the training of his Indian Premier League club Kolkata Knight Riders," Alam said. "He will definitely bolster our pace attack and his late-order power batting could come in handy too."
Bangladesh have been placed in Group A with Pakistan and Australia. They begin their campaign against Pakistan, in St Lucia on May 1.
Squad: Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Mushfiqur Rahim (vice-capt/wk), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mohammad Ashraful, Aftab Ahmed, Mahmudullah, Naeem Islam, Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Shafiul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Syed Rasel, Suhrawadi Shuvo, Jahurul Islam (wk)