BCB president recommends Anamul for SA Tests

Anamul Haque had another poor start, falling to Trent Boult for 7 AFP

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan has made a recommendation to the selectors by asking them to consider Anamul Haque as an opening option for the South Africa Test series later this month. Anamul last played a Test three years ago and fell out of favour with the Bangladesh team management after a slow 70-ball 47 in a T20I in November 2015. He hasn't appeared in an international fixture ever since.

Hassan, however, paid little heed to Anamul's inadequate game time in the international arena of late and, as has been his tendency over the past 12 months, recommended a player's name to the selectors ahead of a series. Only weeks ago, he had intervened to include Mominul Haque in the Test squad ahead of the Australia series after the batsman was dropped by the selectors the previous day. In March this year, Hassan had stepped in to keep Mahmudullah in the squad for the second Test against Sri Lanka after the team management decided to send him home ahead of the game. Hassan later said that Mehidy Hasan's inclusion in the limited-overs leg of that tour was also his recommendation.

Previously, he had also recommended Mehedi Maruf and Shahriar Nafees to the board after they had put in decent performances in the BPL last year. Mosharraf Hossain, too, had the president's attention during the Afghanistan ODIs.

Hassan said on Friday that the board was focused on having more right-left combinations in the Bangladesh batting line-up, which is why he suggested Anamul's name to the selectors.

"If Imrul [Kayes] had done well, we would have thought of putting him ahead of Soumya [Sarkar] but that didn't happen," Hassan said. "There isn't anyone extraordinary coming up in that position, but we are looking for someone. Bijoy (Anamul Haque) is an option as a right-hander. You will be surprised to know that I have already mentioned his name to the board the day before yesterday. I think he will be considered. We have to work with a left-right combination."

At the end of the second Test, Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim sought clarity from the decision makers over his roles in the team - apart from leading it, he is also a key batsman and the wicketkeeper. Hassan responded by saying that, while he does discuss strategies with the players, such things had to be solved by the individual on their own.

"I think it is Mushfiqur's problem," Hassan said. "Doesn't Mashrafe [Mortaza] captain the side? He has never faced such a problem. Shakib [Al Hasan], the new T20 captain, will never face a problem. These things are a captain's decision. We can give him a strategy but he has to take the decision in the field. Mashrafe decides by himself who will bowl and bat. We can give him information, maybe tell him, 'Try this, try him,' but nothing more than that.

"We asked him if he wants to keep wickets. We asked him if he wants to bat at No. 4. Even the day before the second innings [of the Chittagong Test], I sent him word to bat at No. 4, but he didn't do it. So it is up to him. He sent Nasir [Hossain at No. 4]; maybe he didn't want to change his position. I will ask him since he said such a thing in the media. After end of play on the first day, I discussed plans and strategies with Shakib, Miraz, Taijul [Islam] and the coach. But I won't dictate them what to do."

Hassan also revealed Bangladesh's long-term plan for the 2019 World Cup, saying that Bangladesh will experiment for the first 10 matches out of the 30-odd games that they will play in the run-up to the tournament, but will keep a similar line-up for the rest of the matches.

"Ahead of the 2019 World Cup, we have 30 international matches scheduled. In the last 18-20 matches, we will not make any changes," he said. "We want a set team for the World Cup. But in the first 10-odd games, we will make many experiments. There may be a few who wouldn't be happy with it but we have to have a settled World Cup team."