Uncapped Mahmud replaces Shakib in Bangladesh's Test squad for New Zealand
Top-order batter who also bowls left-arm spin was the highest run-getter in Bangladesh's first-class tournament
Uncapped Fazle Mahmud has replaced Shakib Al Hasan in Bangladesh's Test squad for the New Zealand tour after the star allrounder opted to skip the series.
Mahmud, a left-handed top-order batter who also bowls left-arm spin occasionally, was the highest run-getter in Bangladesh's first-class competition this season, making 603 runs at an average of 60.30. He made his ODI debut in October 2018, playing two games against Zimbabwe, but was out on zero in both matches.
Shakib was initially named in the side, but he verbally informed the board of his reluctance to go to New Zealand where Bangladesh are scheduled to play two Tests in January. BCB president Nazmul Hassan approved his leave request once Shakib submitted a letter officially. However, Hassan added that the players would have to inform the board "officially" in order to seek leave.
The New Zealand series will count towards the 2021-23 World Test Championship. The first Test is set to be played in Mount Maunganui from January 1 to 5, and the second in Christchurch from January 9 to 13. When Bangladesh toured New Zealand in 2021, the visitors lost all six matches - three ODIs and three T20Is. Their last Test tour was in 2019, which was abandoned midway, due to the Christchurch attack the day before the third Test.
Meanwhile, Rangana Herath has rejoined the Bangladesh team as the spin bowling coach on a two-year contract. He was with the team from July to November this year for the T20 World Cup.
Squad: Mominul Haque (capt), Shadman Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Fazle Mahmud, Liton Das (wk), Nurul Hasan (wk), Yasir Ali, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Jayed, Ebadot Hossain, Shoriful Islam, Khaled Ahmed, Shohidul Islam, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Mohammad Naim
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84