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Bangladesh's middle-order batsman, Sanwar Hossain, has been recalled to the national squad after a 15-month absence, ahead of next month's home Test and one-day series against India. Sanwar, 31, last played for Bangladesh in August 2003, during the first Test against Pakistan in Karachi, but he is back in the team to shore up a brittle batting line-up.
"We had discussed the names of potential candidates," Faruque Ahmed, the chief of selectors told Dhaka's Daily Star newspaper. "These included Al-Sahariar [Rokon], Naimur Rahman and Tushar Imran, but we felt Sanwar was the best choice at the moment." There is one stumbling block, however. Sanwar has recently become an employee of the national airline, Bangladesh Biman, and needs permission to take time off work. "At the moment," he admitted, "my job is as important as my cricket career."
Other changes to the squad include a return for the left-arm spinner, Abdur Razzaq Raj, who has overcome the suspicions about his bowling action that kept him out of the ICC Champions Trophy and the home series against New Zealand. He replaces the paceman, Alamgir Kabir. "[Razzaq's] action has been monitored and corrected under the guidance of BCB's high performance [HP] unit manager Richard McInnes," confirmed Faruque. "The Board has told us that there is nothing illegal in Razzaq's bowling anymore."
Bangladesh's pace-bowling department has been boosted by the welcome return of Mashrafee-bin-Mortuza and Talha Jubair, neither of whom has featured for over a year. That means that the team's major fitness concerns surround their captain, Habibul Bashar, whose big toe was broken during the second one-day match against New Zealand.
"I will get a proper picture of the injury after the plaster on the big toe is taken off on November 21," said Bashar, who had only just returned to action after undergoing thumb surgery in Australia. "But I am still excited with our prospect as we will have a full team against India with Mashrafee, Talha and Razzaq all returning."
India are scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on December 7 to play two Tests and three one-day internationals. It will be their first return visit to Bangladesh since they took part in the country's inaugural Test in November 2000.
The probables Habibul Bashar (capt), Rajin Saleh, Khaled Mashud (wk), Khaled Mahmud, Javed Omar, Mushfiqur Rahman, Hannan Sarkar, Sanwar Hossain, Alok Kapali, Mohammad Ashraful, Mohammad Rafique, Manjarul Islam Rana, Tapash Baisya, Abdur Razzaq Raj, Mashrafee Bin Mortuza, Enamul Haque Jr, Nazmul Hossain, Tareq Aziz, Nafis Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed, Talha Jubair.