Bangladesh chose experience on Tuesday in selecting its 15-member squad for the Cricket World Cup.
Shakib Al Hasan, who missed the New Zealand tour with a finger injury, was named as the deputy of Mashrafe Mortaza. The all-rounder sustained the injury during the final of the Bangladesh Premier League.
He was allowed into the ongoing IPL but he has played in only one game for Sunrisers Hyderabad so far.
Also, Mosaddek Hossain made a comeback and pacer Abu Jayed found his place because of his expertise in swinging the ball, a big weapon in English conditions.
“We give emphasis on experience in the World Cup squad as it will be held in English conditions,” chief selector Minhajul Abedin said.
Mosaddek and Jayed’s inclusion came as surprise given they weren’t in the plan of Bangladesh’s ODI match.
Mosaddek last played for Bangladesh in the Asia Cup in September 2018, while Jayed is considered to be a test bowler and has yet to make his ODI debut.
The chief selector said Mosaddek was included in the team as a back-up spin-all-rounder since Mahmudullah is unlikely to bowl because of his shoulder injury.
“During the New Zealand test series, we saw that Jayed could swing the ball in both ways, a thing that we expect from our pace bowlers,” Abedin said. “As the tournament will be held in English conditions and plus there is a tri-series in Ireland where there is cold and the temperature is down so we think of including an extra fast bowler who can swing the ball.
“Mosaddek did well in domestic tournaments. We want an all-rounder who can bowl off-spin. Mahmudullah has a shoulder injury so he may not bowl over there. As a back-up spin all-rounder, we included Mosaddek.”
There were no significant changes to the opening position and middle order. Liton Das will join Tamim Iqbal at the top of the order.
Soumya Sarkar and Sabbir Rahman secured spots in the 15-man squad despite their poor form in the Dhaka Premier League. They will line up with Mohammad Mithun, who earned his maiden World Cup call, and experienced Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah in the middle order.
Mohammad Saifuddin and Mehidy Hasan also have received their maiden World Cup call-ups as both of them bring balance to the side.
Mortaza, the captain playing in his fourth and probably final World Cup, will lead the pace bowling attack, which also includes Mustafizur Rahman – despite the left-arm pacer currently being sidelined with a sprained ankle, which in turn should keep him out for at least two weeks. Rubel Hossain and Jayed were the other two pacers.
Bangladesh will start its preparations on April 22 and the team is expected to leave for Britain in the first week of May. The Bangladesh team will begin its World Cup campaign against South Africa at the Kennington Oval on June 2.
The BCB also announced a 17-man squad for the tri-nation series in Ireland which takes place ahead of the World Cup in May. Batsman Yasir Ali and spinner Nayeem Hasan have been added to the lineup that included the 15 already named in the World Cup squad.
World Cup Squad: Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (captain), Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Saifuddin, Abu Jayed Rahi, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain.