The Bangladesh players selected for the T20 World Cup were very much as expected as the selectors made the announcement on Thursday (September 9). Experienced fast bowler Rubel Hossain was one notable exclusion as he was demoted to the reserve players. Rubel wasn’t considered despite being present in the squad for the home series against New Zealand. The 31-year-old fast bowler, who has played 28 T20Is so far, last featured for the national side in this format in April this year in New Zealand.
Mahmudullah will lead a strong team that just picked up historic series victories over Australia and New Zealand on home soil. Soumya Sarkar’s poor performance against Australia recently didn’t have an impact as he managed to retain his spot in the absence of Tamim Iqbal, who pulled out of the showpiece event.”As I did not play in the last 15 to 20 T20 matches, and whoever replaced me, I don’t think it would be fair on them if I take their place,” the southpaw had said through a video message on Facebook a week ago. Soumya managed to score just 28 runs in five innings against Australia and hasn’t featured against New Zealand in the first four games. But chief selector Minjahul Abedin is confident of Tamim’s vacuum being filled.
“It is unfortunate that we are going without a player of Tamim Iqbal’s caliber,” he said while announcing the squad. “We will miss him. Initially, we were confident that Tamim would be playing in the World Cup but then he suddenly withdrew his name. Those who got the opportunity, definitely have the ability to do well. We are confident about our openers Mohammad Naim, Liton Das, and Soumya Sarkar.”
From the 19-member squad that was chosen to play New Zealand, the selectors have dropped four players without making any additions from outside. Apart from Rubel, the trio of Mosaddek Hossein, Taijul Islam, and Aminul Islam have been dropped. However, legspinner Aminul, who has played seven T20Is so far has been named as one of the standby players alongside Rubel. Mohammad Mithun, who was left out after the Australia series was not considered.
Bangladesh are in Group B alongside Oman, Papua New Guinea, and Scotland and will qualify for the Super 12 stage if they secure a top two finish in their group. They will play their first match of the tournament against Scotland on October 17 – the opening day of the tournament.
Squad:Mahmudullah (c), Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Kumar Das, Afif Hossain, Mohammad Naim, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Shamim Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Mohammad Saifuddin, Shoriful Islam, Mahedi Hasan, Nasum Ahmed.
Reserves: Aminul Islam, Rubel Hossain