Bashar left out of preliminary Asia Cup squad

Habibul Bashar has been left out of Bangladesh's 25-member preliminary squad for the Asia Cup in Pakistan. All the players who toured Pakistan last month for a five-match ODI series, and those who were part of the side for the home ODI series against South Africa and Ireland have been included.

Bashar, who had led Bangladesh to the Super Eights stage in World Cup in the West Indies last year, was dropped from the ODI side for the tour to Sri Lanka in June, and for the second Test during South Africa's visit to Bangladesh earlier this year. With the exclusion of Bashar and wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud, and the retirement of Mohammad Rafique, Bangladesh have only three players from the 2004 Asia Cup in the current squad - Mohammad Ashraful, the captain, Alok Kapali and Abdur Razzak.

The squad has three players who are yet to represent Bangladesh - Dolar Mahmud, Naeem Islam and Rubel Hossain. Mahmud and Rubel were part of Bangladesh's Under-19 side for the World Cup in Malaysia. Raqibul Hasan, who was the leading run-getter in List A matches in Bangladesh in the 2007-08 season and made his debut in the recent series against South Africa, finds a place so does Mosharraf Hossain, the left-arm spinner who topped the wicket-takers' chart for first-class games.

Bangladesh suffered a 5-0 whitewash at the hands of Pakistan, and will host India and Pakistan in a preparatory triangular tournament before the Asia Cup. Bangladesh have been grouped alongside Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates.

Bangladesh preliminary squad: Mohammad Ashraful, Mashrafe Mortaza, Junaid Siddique, Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed, Abdur Razzak, Farhad Reza, Shahriar Nafees, Nazimuddin, Syed Rasel, Raqibul Hasan, Shakib Al Hasan, Shahadat Hossain, Dhiman Ghosh (wk), Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Naeem Islam, Mehrab Hossain jnr, Mosharraf Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Dolar Mahmud, Nazmul Hossain, Nadif Chowdhury, Alok Kapali, Sajidul Islam.