Bangladesh's plans for the first Test against England have been thrown into disarray after Raqibul Hasan, the 22-year-old middle-order batsman, retired from international cricket on the eve of the series.
Cricinfo understands that Raqibul is angered by his omission from the preliminary 30-man World Twenty20 squad as well as the recent one-day series against England and has decided to make a stand, but there was also a disagreement between the board and the selectors over his original place in the Test squad.
He informed his team-mates of his decision on the team bus after practice on Wednesday. "We tried to tell him that it was a bad idea," a team insider told Cricinfo. "He's very young and we tried to talk him out of a rash decision. "
The board had wanted Raqibul to be dropped for the Tests against England along with Mohammad Ashraful, who was omitted from the squad having also missed the one-day series. However, he impressed for Bangladesh A against England in the warm-up match when he followed his first-innings unbeaten 107 with 51 and was duly named in the Test party.
"The selectors were told by the board to drop Raqibul and Ashraful from the Test squad," a BCB insider told Cricinfo. "The selectors refused to drop Raqibul after he scored a century and a fifty in the warm-up game at Chittagong and Raqibul has returned to Dhaka feeling that his position in the team is compromised."
Raqibul was inked in for a middle-order slot against England, ironically as a replacement for Ashraful, having previously been dropped following a lean series against India in January. He has played seven Tests with a top score of 65 against West Indies and averages 19.14.
"He wrote a letter to us this morning, withdrawing himself from the Test series against England. He also announced his retirement from all forms of cricket," Bangladesh cricket board director Jalal Yunus told AFP. "It has stunned us. He is a brilliant cricketer and played two superb knocks against England just days back. Coach Jamie Siddons and Raqibul's parents tried to change his mind. But he is adamant."
Cricinfo understands that Jahurul Islam, the uncapped 23-year-old batsman, has been called into the squad following an impressive performance in the National Cricket League final, which finished on Wednesday, where he scored 59 and 117 for Rajshahi Division who took the title against Chittagong Division.