Bangladesh pace bowler Shafiul Islam has said the disappointment of being left out of the 15-man World Cup squad has given way to surprise and happiness after being named Al-Amin Hossain's replacement.
Al-Amin is on his way back to Dhaka from Melbourne after the BCB decided to send him home. He had missed a team curfew on the night of February 19 at the team's Brisbane hotel.
Shafiul, part of the 30-man preliminary World Cup squad, was preparing for Rajshahi Division's National Cricket League match against Rangpur Division in Savar when a BCB official gave him the news. He rushed back to Dhaka to prepare to leave for Melbourne on Monday evening.
"I was a little disappointed [when left out of the original World Cup squad] but now I am joining the team," Shafiul told the Dhaka-based news portal thereport24. "It feels great to be part of the World Cup squad. I would want to repeat the performance from the last World Cup. I am surprised with the sudden call-up. I have a responsibility now, and I would like to give it my best when called up in the playing XI."
Shafiul last played an ODI in November against Zimbabwe, and only bowled 2.1 overs before injuring his thigh. Since then, he has picked up six wickets in four Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League matches for Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club and played a couple of first-class matches for Rajshahi, picking up a four-wicket haul against Chittagong.
Shafiul has 58 wickets from 52 ODIs, at an average of 36.36. He has been a fairly profligate bowler, with an economy rate of 5.89, but he has the second-best strike rate among Bangladesh bowlers who have played more than 50 ODIs.
A last-minute pick at the 2011 World Cup, after the selectors weren't convinced with Mashrafe Mortaza's fitness, Shafiul opened the bowling in all of Bangladesh's matches and picked up a four-wicket haul against Ireland. But his most memorable performance came against England, scoring 24 in an unbroken 58-run ninth-wicket stand with Mahmudullah that won Bangladesh a match they were about to lose.
"I want to bowl with a lot of control whenever given a chance," Shafiul said. "I have no specific target, just want to bowl according to my strength. I got a chance to play in the 2011 World Cup because Mashrafe bhai was injured. This time I am replacing Al-Amin. I am not worried about how I am getting the chance, my job is to perform."