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Ash to get his squad on Monday

CricBD Staff
3 June, 2007

New faces are likely to tour Sri Lanka with Bangladesh for the Test and one-day series in June-July.

It would be known on Monday who will be the Tigers to make the trip under new captain Mohammad Ashraful when the national selection panel names the Test team of 15 members and a number of additional players for the ODIs.
Bangladesh play three Tests and as many one-day matches in the island during a 39-day trip.

"We will announce the Test team as well as few additional names to join the squad after completion of the Test series. Those who return home will be decided after the Test series," informed chief selector Faruque Ahmed on Sunday.

It looks certain that recent past national skipper Habibul Bashar will retain his place in the Test side but there is remote chance for him to continue in the one-dayers.

However, it would not be an easy task for the selectors as there are strong contenders for Bashar's place in Tushar Imran and Aftab Ahmed. Many believe that the in-form 23-year old right-hander Tushar has been deprived for long but it is time now to give him adequate chance in both versions of the game.

Tushar, who has maintained form not only in domestic circuit but also with the A team, was included in the Test squad against India but unfortunately failed to play due to attack of seasonal fever.

The selectors are seriously considering an off-spinning all-rounder to add to the left-arm spin quartet and the performance of Mahmudullah Riyad for the last six months, especially with the A team, has given them food for thought.

Also, Bangladesh desperately missed a genuine third seamer during the two-match Test series against India, which was also the case during Tigers last visit to Sri Lanka in 2005, and that is the reason the selectors are looking for a quick.

Mohammad Sharif had to be recalled after five years in emergency situation for the second Test against India to replace an ill Shahadat Hossain but he also failed to deliver the goods. Forhad Reza or uncapped Dollar Mahmud look like the candidates to fill the gap.

It would also be interesting to see whether the selectors show their courage to put an end to the career of Javed Omar as one-day opener. Javed has been a temporary solution in the shorter-version of the game but things look difficult with Shahriar Nafees completely out of form.

The left-handed opener missed all the one-dayers against India at home following his brittle batting in the World Cup. He added more woes to his wounds with figures of 32, 1, 2 and 4 in the Test series.

"We think it is too early to think about the players who will return home after the Test series because you should understand that there are three Tests and many things can happen there. True it's good to make up minds with a future vision but current circumstances are also equally important to me," explained Faruque.

The former national skipper also welcomed the board decision of naming one captain for the tour.

"It was almost obvious that Ashraful would be the next one-day captain but I am little bit surprised by the decision of giving him the job for Test team as well. But I must welcome the board decision because he can be a good choice in the long run. Ashraful is now more matured and a sensible guy but we have to wait to see how he handles the job. I think we have to give him time to settle in this position," said Faruque.

On the other hand, new selector Akram Khan said that Ashraful is lucky enough to be named captain at the age of 22.

"As a former captain I think it's a bold decision by the board to name Ashraful as captain because we have to prepare someone for the future. It is a trend in our country that a player gets the job at the fag end of his career and I think this time, the board has changed the trend," observed Akram.

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