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Injured Taskin named vice-captain in Bangladesh T20 squad

Cricket 2024-05-14, 11:36pm

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Dhaka, 14 May —The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) today announced the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in USA & West Indies, keeping injured fast bowler Taskin Ahmed in the team.

The fast bowler, who made him the vital cog of the side through his consistent performance, also named the deputy to Najmul Hossain Shanto for the tournament.

The decision raised an eyebrow, considering the fact that it is still not certain if he can recover from the side strain injury fully ahead of the World Cup.

While Taskin was kept in the squad, the national selection panel led by Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu, axed allrounder Mohammad Saifuddin. Pacer Tanzim Hasan Sakib was chosen ahead of him.

Apart from the issue of Taskin and Saifuddin, the team was completely predictable.

“BCB’s medical team was confident that Taskin will recover fully ahead of the World Cup. That’s why he was kept in the squad,” Ashraf said here today while announcing the team.

“But it is almost certain that he would miss the preceding three-match T20 series against USA.”

Taskin suffered the injury before the fifth T20I against Zimbabwe on May 12 and missed the match as a result. He was adjudged Player of the Series for his eight wickets in four games.

Ashraf however emphasized of handling Taskin carefully.

“He was injury prone and so his matter should be handled carefully. He played four matches against Zimbabwe but we could have rested him earlier,” he added.

The chairman of selection panel said Tanzim Hasan Sakib was chosen ahead of Saifuddin because of his hunger and dedication.

"He was the only change from the squad that we submitted to ICC on April 30. But when we considered what the team needs at the moment, Tanzim was ahead of Saifuddin. It was a close call between the two,” Ashraf said.

"It was not that we saw Tanzim in just one series against Zimbabwe. We saw him against Sri Lanka. His dedication and hunger kept him ahead. He is also a good fielder. We didn't see enough yorkers in the death overs from Saifuddin. He was considered as designated death bowlers. He did it in domestic cricket but didn't do it in against Zimbabwe. Some of his short-pitched balls went over the batters' head.”

Shakib Al Hasan was also unsurprisingly in the team, making him the only second player to play every T20 World Cup since the inaugural edition in 2007. Indian captain Rohit Sharma is the other one who played all World Cups in this format.

Liton Das has found a place despite his poor form in white-ball this year. Ashraf, however, backed Liton to return to the form ahead of the T20 World Cup.

‘Liton was inconsistent. But he has been working intensively with his shortcomings. Hopefully he will get back to form when it matters most,” Ashraf said.

“At the same, the question was who will replace Liton, also a wicket-keeper? We need two wicketkeepers in the squad, considering the concussion sub situation. We discussed Anamul Haque Bijoy in this equation. But despite his poor form, we put our trust in Liton.”

Bangladesh will play a three-match T20I series against hosts USA to prepare for the big tournament.

The Tigers open their T20 World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka on June 8 in Dallas.