Bangladesh have omitted Mashrafe Mortaza from the squad for next month's tri-series at home, despite his being named in the preliminary squad. Mortaza failed to recover from his knee injury and Shakib Al Hasan will lead the side with wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim as his deputy. The squad also features two former ICL players, opener Shahriar Nafees and batsman Aftab Ahmed, and a fresh face in fast bowler Shafiul Islam.
Mortaza damaged his knee during the first Test on the tour of West Indies in July. The injury ruled him out of the rest of the tour and the subsequent ODI series against Zimbabwe both home and away. However, he was selected in the 26-man preliminary squad - later reduced to 18 - for the tri-series and was named captain for the tournament as well as the home Test series against India. "Mortaza is 80 percent fit for cricket. We are not taking any risk with him," Rafiqul Alam, the Bangladesh Cricket Board's chief selector told AFP.
The two ICL returnees Aftab and Nafees last represented Bangladesh more than a year ago. Alam put their selection down to their performance in the domestic circuit. "They both performed well in the domestic cricket. Aftab is also a useful medium pacer," he said. The 22-year-old Shafiul, the only player in the squad with no international experience, had impressed in the recently concluded Premier Division Cricket League. "He bowls well and is mature enough to cope with international pressure," Alam said.
The two other players dropped from the preliminary squad of 18 are fast bowler Shahadat Hossain and former ICL player Alok Kapali.
Bangladesh squad: Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Mushfiqur Rahim (vice-capt and wk), Mohammad Ashraful, Abdur Razzak, Tamim Iqbal, Syed Rasel, Raqibul Hasan, Mahmudullah, Nazmul Hossain, Naeem Islam, Imrul Kayes, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Shahriar Nafees, Aftab Ahmed.