Mortaza returns, Ashraful axed for Australia ODIs

Mashrafe Mortaza removed Craig Kieswetter in the first over Getty Images

Former Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful's stop-start international career hit another roadblock when he was left out of the Bangladesh side for the upcoming three-match home ODI series against Australia. Seamer Mashrafe Mortaza, who missed the World Cup with a knee injury, was recalled, along with middle-order batsman Alok Kapali. Shakib Al Hasan was retained as the captain, while Tamim Iqbal will remain his deputy.

Ashraful had a forgettable World Cup, managing only 18 runs in three outings, and was axed along with Junaid Siddique, Naeem Islam and Nazmul Hossain. Uncapped batsman Shuvagoto Hom was the only newcomer named in the side.

With 145 wickets in 116 ODIs, Mortaza, 27, is Bangladesh's second-highest wicket-taker in the format, and his return brightens their prospects against Australia. Kapali played the last of his 65 one-dayers in September 2008, and his recall is an attempt to bolster Bangladesh's misfiring middle order. If he gets a chance in the series, Kapali will hope to improve on his mediocre batting average of 19.83.

The three-matches will be played on April 9, 11 and 13 at the Shere Bangla Stadium in Mirpur.

Squad: Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Tamim Iqbal (vice-capt), Mashrafe Mortaza, Imrul Kayes, Shahriar Nafees, Raqibul Hasan, Alok Kapali, Shuvagoto Hom, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah, Abdur Razzak, Suhrawadi Shuvo, Rubel Hossain and Shafiul Islam