Shakib-deprived Tigers opt for 5 pacers for SA mission

Shakib-deprived Tigers opt for 5 pacers for SA mission

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Dhaka – Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Monday announced a 15-man Test squad for the Tigers’ upcoming two-match overseas series against South Africa starting on September 28.World number one all-rounder across all formats of cricket Shakib Al Hasan will miss the series as the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has granted him leave from Test cricket for a six-month break following his request.“On Sunday, Shakib submitted an application to BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury seeking a six-month break from Test cricket as he feels tired physically and mentally,” said Chairman of the BCB Cricket Operations Committee Akram Khan, adding that Shakib has the option of playing the second Test, “if he wants.”Akram Khan disclosed this in a press conference in Mirpur on Monday before the BCB chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu reiterated this in a follow-up press conference to the Test squad’s announcement.Mahmudullah Riyad, Shubhasish Roy and Rubel Hossain got call-ups for the Test series while apart from Shakib, Nasir Hossain has been dropped from the squad that faced Australia in the just-concluded two-match series, which ended 1-1.This is expected to be a very different series though, in very different conditions. Keeping in mind the hard, bouncy pitches one can expect in South Africa, the selectors have focused on strengthening the pace bowling options, keeping five pacers — Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Taskin Ahmed and Shubhasish Roy — in the squad.Minhajul said it was a concern that Shakib opted out of the squad, but felt that a player’s mental and physical state must come under consideration.”I respect his decision but of course it is very hard to replace him,” said the chief selector.”We have to take into account his mental and physical state because as a player I understand what he may be going through physically and mentally,” Minhajul added.Taijul Islam will be the main spin strength along with all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mahmudullah who played last against Sri Lanka in March this year.Despite struggling against Australia, Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes have kept their place in the squad mainly due to a lack of options. Mosaddek Hossain remained out of the reckoning as his eye infection hadn’t improved and will be sent to Bangkok on Monday for further medical attention.Tigers will start their campaign in South Africa with a three-day tour match (September 21-23) against the South Africa Invitation XI at Willowmoore Park, Benoni.The first Test (September 28 – October 2) will be held at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom while the 2nd Test (October 6-10) at Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein.Besides their Test series, the Tigers will play, three ODIs (October 15, 18 and 22) and two T20Is (October 26 and 29) against the hosts.Bangladesh Test squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah Riyad, Liton Kumar Das, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Shubhasish Roy and Mominul Haque.UNB news agency

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