Uncapped Nasir, Shuvagoto in squad for Zimbabwe
Nasir Hossain earned his first call-up to the Bangladesh side after the BCB announced a 15-member squad for the Zimbabwe tour late on Friday evening. Mohammad Ashraful has been preferred over Raqibul Hasan in the squad, which also includes another uncapped player Shuvagoto Hom.
The announcement came two days after BCB chief Mustafa Kamal received the names of the selected players from chief selector Akram Khan, who had called for a change in the process which allows the board's technical committee to discuss the selectors' choices.
Nasir, a 19-year-old from Rangpur, was highly rated after outperforming most allrounders in the country for the past few years. Since he graduated from the sports institute BKSP, Nasir has regularly attracted big-money moves to the top Premier League clubs.
"It was my dream to play for Bangladesh," Nasir told ESPNcricinfo. "I told my family and I think they are happier than I am."
Considered for the ODI series alongside Shuvagoto, Nasir is being propped up for a role in the lower middle-order, according to Akram, while Shuvagoto will be tested at the No. 4 position, a spot that has been Bangladesh's scourge.
"Nasir has a bright future and we have picked him and Shuvagoto for the ODI series," Akram said. "I think he is far ahead of all the other good allrounders and we have considered him for his positive frame of mind."
Predictably, Ashraful and Junaid Siddique made comebacks, though both played Bangladesh's previous Test match in England last year. Ashraful showed poor form during the 2011 World Cup and was dropped for the Australia ODIs in April. "We considered both Ashraful and Raqibul for the same position and I think Ashraful won the spot for his experience and some good knocks in South Africa (for Bangladesh A earlier this year)," Akram said.
The squad will be led by Shakib Al Hasan, with Tamim Iqbal as vice-captain. Former captain and fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza, who had another knee surgery in May, is undergoing rehabilitation and continues to miss out.
Bangladesh are visiting Zimbabwe for one Test and five ODIs. The tour starts with a three-day game against a Zimbabwe XI from July 30.
Squad: Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Tamim Iqbal (vc), Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Mohammad Ashraful, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah, Abdur Razzak, Shafiul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Nazmul Hossain, Shahriar Nafees, Robiul Islam, Shuvagoto Hom, Nasir Hossain.
Reserves: Naeem Islam, Suhrawadi Shuvo, Alok Kopali, Syed Rasel, Sahagir Hossain (wk).