Selectors opt for greenhorns

Thursday, August 9, 2007

National selectors on Thursday inducted three uncapped players in the Bangladesh squad for next months ICC Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa with pace bowler Ziaur Rahman getting a surprise call-up.
Ziaur, who played for Abahani in the last domestic season, won a hard-fought battle against experienced pacer Tapash Baishya, who was widely tipped to get a recall but was eventually excluded on fitness ground.
We have discussed the issue for a long time and finally came to the conclusion that Tapash lacked match fitness. He has been out of international cricket for five to six months and also did not participate in the skill training. So, we decided to try a new player, said chief selector Faruque Ahmed.
Ziaur is a good pace bowler and can also hit the ball hard, added the chief sector.
Unlike Ziaur, the other two uncapped players in the squad left-handed opener Junaed Siddique and right-hand middle-order batsman Nazim Uddin earned an expected call up to the team on the basis of their strong showing in the domestic cricket.
Junaed, well-known for his six-hitting ability, had been a key figure for Mohammedan Sporting Club to win the domestic Twenty20 League last year. Nazim also impressed with his performance for Abahani and the Bangladesh A team against England and Sri Lanka A respectively.
Veteran left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique and opener Shahriar Nafees were among the notable omissions from the squad while middle-order batsman Alok Kapali has been recalled after almost a year.
We did not consider Rafique at all as he is nursing an injury and has been asked to take rest for at least two weeks by physicians. Shariar asked the Board to release him on personal ground, said Faruque.
The chief selector sounded confident when he was asked about the fitness of vice-captain Mshrafee bin Murtaza, who missed the last two one-day matches in Sri Lanka due to an ankle injury.
Frankly speaking, I don't have his fitness report at the moment. But I am sure he will be fit in time as we have still one month left before the tournament starts, said Faruque.
The squad will play a tri-nation tournament in Nairobi involving Kenya and Pakistan from August 31 to September 5 before heading to South Africa. In the Twenty20 World Cup, they will play in Group A against hosts South Africa and West Indies.
Squad: Mohammad Ashraful (captain), Mashrafee bin Murtaza (vice-captain), Alok Kapali, Abdur Razzak, Aftab Ahmed, Syed Rasel, Farhad Reza, Sakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah Riyad, Junaed Siddique, Nazim Uddin, Nadif Chowdhury and Ziaur Rahman.


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