Dream Team

Does Mohammad Ashraful make it to Bangladesh's greatest white-ball XI?

And who opens with Tamim Iqbal? Our panelists discuss on the latest episode of Dream Team

Sreshth Shah
Sreshth Shah
It has been nearly 35 years since Bangladesh played their first ODI. They emerged as giant-killers in the 2007 World Cup and reached the quarter-final of the tournament in 2015. Add semi-final appearances at the Champions Trophy and heart-stopping moments in T20Is, and Bangladesh, on the back of an ever-growing fan base, have become an exciting team to watch. And so, in the latest edition of Dream Team, we look to pick their greatest white-ball XI. The selectors are Mohammad Isam, ESPNcricinfo correspondent, and two Bangladeshi cricket tragics - Zulquarnain Islam and Issa Farooque.
Who partners Tamim Iqbal?
Shahriar Nafees was the first man to score three ODI centuries for Bangladesh, Imrul Kayes has enjoyed success and failure in equal measure and in his short international career, Liton Das has impressed people in many quarters with how easy his batting is on the eye. If Tamim Iqbal is the anchor he usually is for Bangladesh, who is to partner him? After plenty of back and forth, the panelists eliminated one of the two contenders to zero in on their final choice.
The Ashraful dilemma
Before Iqbal, before Shakib Al Hasan, before Mushfiqur Rahim and before Mashrafe Mortaza, the big star was Mohammad Ashraful. From 2001 to 2013, the boy wonder raised the country's cricket profile, only to let everyone down with his involvement in match-fixing. He is second on the list of quickest Test fifties ever and has the national record for fastest ODI and T20I half-centuries. Can he be ignored?
An ode to Mortaza
Bangladesh have had 14 ODI captains, but the Narail Express stands head and shoulders above the rest. Numbers and win percentages are one metric, but how a captain brings a team together in times of adversity, while also leading by example, often has much greater value. The panelists explain why Mortaza, the captain of this XI, is the greatest leader Bangladesh (and perhaps even Asian cricket) has ever seen.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo