Thursday, May 30, 2024

Mahmudullah’s return headlines Bangladesh’s potent World Cup squad

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Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah will feature in yet another World Cup campaign for Bangladesh © Getty

Veteran batter Mahmudullah, who wasn’t picked for the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, has been named in Bangladesh’s squad for the upcoming 2024 T20 World Cup in USA/West Indies.

The 15-member squad will be led by Najmul Hossain Shanto with Taskin Ahmed serving as his deputy. There has been an injury cloud over the latter, forcing Hasan Mahmud to fly in as the replacement for the upcoming T20Is against USA before the World Cup. However, the selectors are confident that Taskin shall recover in time for the showpiece event, thereby giving him the additional responsibility of being the vice-captain. Hasan Mahmud and Afif Hossain have been named as the reserves.

Squad: Najmul Hossain Shanto(c), Tanzim Hasan Tamim, Litton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Towhid Hridoy, Mahmudullah, Soumya Sarkar, Jaker Ali, Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Tanvir Islam, Rishad Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Tanzid Hasan Sakib

Mahmudullah’s return is arguably the talking point of the squad. The 38-year-old wasn’t part of the T20I side since September 2022 and made a comeback earlier this year in the home series against Sri Lanka in March. Consequently, Mahmudullah was a regular in the side for the T20Is against Zimbabwe, making him a front-runner for making the final cut. However, there was a sense of uncertainty regarding his selection, given the unpredictable nature of Bangladesh’s selection committee with respect to senior players.

Mustafizur Rahman headlines the pace attack that also has Shoriful Islam and Taskin in the mix. Bowling all-rounder Tanzim Sakib is the fourth seamer in the squad, making it ahead of Mohammad Saifuddin.

“The reason we focused on Saifuddin a lot, although he did not get to bat in three matches, was because of his ability to bowl yorkers. His ability to bowl yorkers was not displayed and there is a lot of improvement to be made. We noticed that there was a difference in his performance from domestic cricket to international cricket,” BCB chief selector Gazi Ashraf Hossain said.

“He( Saifuddin) was in our mind. As you said, considering the BPL we had readied a team [for May 1] and we did not make too many changes from that side. Saifuddin is the only player who did not make it from that side,” he added.

“But when we considered what the team needs at the moment, Tanzim was ahead of Saifuddin. It was a close call between the two. We have seen Tanzim Sakib in the Sri Lanka series as well. His dedication and work-ethic to deliver kept him in front.”

The squad also has three specialist spin bowling options in the form of Mahedi Hasan, Tanvir Islam and Rishad Hossain, apart from the experience of Shakib Al Hasan.

© Cricbuzz


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