Mosharraf Hossain, the left-arm spinner who last played international cricket in 2008, has been added to Bangladesh's preliminary squad for the upcoming home series against England. He joined the squad in training earlier this week, and is being considered as a possible second spinner in the ODI squad.
Mosharraf was part of this year's High Performance specialised squad for spin bowlers but after Venkatapathy Raju, the former India left-arm spinner, concluded his week-long spin camp, Mosharraf left for a family trip to India on August 25. He rushed back by road from Kolkata two days later after getting an SOS from the Bangladesh team management, which is still looking for a replacement for Arafat Sunny.
ESPNcricinfo understands that Mosharraf's name reached coach Chandika Hathurusingha when Raju spoke highly of him after the camp. The opportunity to audition for the second spinner's role is significant, and unusual in Bangladesh cricket where 34-year olds seldom get picked in representative squads.
Sunny, who until recently was a regular in the shorter formats, was suspended from bowling in international cricket after his action was found to be illegal in March. He will undergo a reassessment in Brisbane on September 8, which leaves his selection in the ODI squad uncertain. Taijul Islam and Suhrawadi Shuvo, who are in the preliminary squad, haven't played ODI cricket for quite some time too.
Mosharraf, who played three ODIs for Bangladesh in 2008 before joining Dhaka Warriors in the rebel ICL later that year, is a steady domestic performer with his accurate left-arm spin and lower-order runs. He has been among the top wicket-takers in domestic cricket regularly since the BCB reinstated the ICL players in 2010. He was embroiled in a match-fixing controversy after the 2013 BPL but, after appearing in front of a tribunal, was one of two cricketers exonerated in April 2014, with the BCB also lifting a temporary ban on him.
He continued to do well in domestic cricket, but had not been in the reckoning for a national spot until now. This season, he performed superbly for Legends of Rupganj with bat and ball.
Chief selector Minhajul Abedin did not talk up Mosharraf's chances just yet. "He was with the HP squad until recently," he said. "We want to see how much he has progressed."