T20 World Cup: No Tamim Iqbal, as Bangladesh name Mahmudullah-led squad along expected lines

Tamim Iqbal, who had opted out, Taijul Islam and Mosaddek Hossain are not a part of the squad

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Mahmudullah has led Bangladesh in 26 T20Is  •  AFP/Getty Images

Mahmudullah has led Bangladesh in 26 T20Is  •  AFP/Getty Images

Mahmudullah will lead Bangladesh at the 2021 T20 World Cup, with all their major players in the mix with the exception of Tamim Iqbal, who opted out of the tournament recently. There were no real surprises in the 15-member squad, with the selectors clearly focussing on recent performances, away in Zimbabwe and then at home against Australia and New Zealand. Taijul Islam and Mosaddek Hossain were two of the prominent names to miss out, but neither of them have been T20I regulars in the recent past, while Rubel Hossain and Aminul Islam have been included as reserve players.
Chief selector Minhajul Abedin explained that the plan was to stick with the combination from the last three series to maintain the confidence Bangladesh had gathered from winning. "We considered the team's consistent performance," he said. "We had to follow a plan in home conditions, but we will have a different mentality when we go abroad. Everyone is within a system, training under the team management. We are seeing the players in training, and we are confident that our specialist coaches will prepare them accordingly. I am confident they are prepared to play, and we expect pretty much the same performance."
Tamim had earlier reasoned that the openers who have been playing regularly this year - Mohammad Naim, Soumya Sarkar and Liton Das - should be preferred over him for T20I cricket. All three players have been included in the squad, which has eight batters, two allrounders, four specialist fast bowlers and one specialist spinner.
"It is unfortunate that we are going without a player of Tamim Iqbal's calibre," Abedin said. "We will miss him. Initially we were confident that Tamim would be playing in the World Cup but then he suddenly withdrew his name. Those who got the opportunity, definitely they have the ability to do well. We are confident about our openers Mohammad Naim, Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar."
Bangladesh, who failed to qualify directly for the tournament, will have to go through the first round, where they have to finish in the top two in a group that also includes Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman.
"Winning is very important, regardless of the format. It gives you confidence, whereas losing takes away the morale," Abedin said. "Winning confidence is usually very useful going into a big tournament.
"Our World Cup performance begins in Oman, where we have never played cricket. We have to formulate a plan only when we arrive in Oman. I am confident that our experienced players can acclimatise very quickly."
Abedin said that the batters, especially, who have had a tough time in the last two home series on spin-friendly pitches, would have to rethink their plans ahead of the main event. "There is enough time to be refreshed before the World Cup, which is more than a month away. I was a batsman. I know that if a batsman self-assesses, and plans properly, he can find success," he said.
Squad: Mahmudullah (capt), Mohammad Naim, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Mahedi Hasan, Nasum Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Mohammad Saifuddin, Shamim Hossain

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84