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No Mushfiqur for Pakistan T20Is as Bangladesh name young squad following poor World Cup

Bangladesh add uncapped Saif Hassan, Shahidul Islam, Yasir Ali and Akbar Ali for the T20Is

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
16-Nov-2021
Mushfiqur Rahim leaves the field after being dismissed for 99, Bangladesh v Pakistan, Asia Cup 2018, Abu Dhabi, September 26, 2018

Mushfiqur Rahim leaves the field after being dismissed  •  Getty Images

Mushfiqur Rahim has become the biggest casualty of Bangladesh's fallout from the T20 World Cup after being dropped for the three-match T20I series against Pakistan starting Friday. This is the first time Mushfiqur is excluded from a senior side since 2008, when Dhiman Ghosh replaced him for an extended period before going to the ICL.
Mushfiqur, who has played 99 T20Is, made 95 runs in five matches in the Super 12s including a half-century against Sri Lanka. Some of his dismissals however, especially his missed scoop and reverse-sweeps, became topic of intense discussion back in Bangladesh.
Although chief selector Minhajul Abedin insisted that Mushfiqur was rested for the T20I series keeping in mind Bangladesh's scheduling for the next two months, Mushfiqur was reportedly willing to play in these three matches.
"We have four back-to-back Test matches against Pakistan and New Zealand," Minhajul said. "He is a key player. He is one of our best players. Tamim Iqbal is already injured. He is in doubt for the Test series. We want our best player to give his best during the Test series, so after consulting extensively with the team management, we have decided to rest him. It is only for the Pakistan series. He will be available later."
Including Shakib Al Hasan's hamstring injury, Bangladesh only have captain Mahmudullah as one of their much vaunted experienced cricketers left in the 16-man squad announced on Tuesday. Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das and Rubel Hossain are also ousted from the side too.
The national selectors have instead gone for a youth-heavy side by including Saif Hassan, Shahidul Islam, Yasir Ali and Akbar Ali among the six inclusions. Najmul Hossain Shanto and legspinner Aminul Islam are also in the side.
There are first-time call-ups for fast bowler Shahidul and top-order batter Akbar, Bangladesh's captain when they won the Under-19 World Cup last year. Saif has played Tests but it is his first inclusion in T20Is. Yasir has been in Test squads this year, but hasn't played international cricket yet.
Afif Hossain, however, has kept his place in the squad despite making just 14 runs in five matches in the Super 12s.
Liton and Soumya were already playing for Rangpur Division and Khulna Division respectively in the National Cricket League. But they can still make it back into Bangladesh's T20I plans, according to Minhajul.
"We have just come from a disappointing T20 World Cup. It was unexpected," he said. "We didn't have a bad team. We won both the T20I series at home this year. Still, we are trying to start afresh. Our planning for the next T20 World Cup begins after this season's BPL, but we want to start well in this series.
"Those who are dropped, they have to do well in the domestic competitions. The BPL is coming up. Nobody will be forgotten. We have to keep them in the system. We have the A team programme. We also have the High Performance Unit. We will keep everyone we need, in these squads."
IN: Saif Hassan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Aminul Islam, Shahidul Islam, Yasir Ali, Akbar Ali
OUT: Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan (hamstring injury), Mushfiqur Rahim, Rubel Hossain

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84