Bangladesh have welcomed left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman back into the Test side for their next month’s all-format tour of the Caribbean. Named in all three versions of the game versus the West Indies, the 26-year-old last turned out in a Test match back in February 2021.
Rahman’s Test match future looked uncertain after he decided to skip the ongoing home series versus Sri Lanka to adhere to his commitments with Delhi Capitals in the ongoing India Premier League 2022.
Bangladesh Cricket Board team director Khaled Mahmud publicly expressed his disappointment over the left-arm pacer’s absence from the Test team for more than a year, stating it hurts Bangladesh as they undergo the second cycle of the World Test Championship.
The player’s participation in the West Indies Tests was also bleak until he had a proper conversation with the BCB chairman Nazmul Hassan. It was Hassan’s idea to give centrally contracted players the option to pick and choose formats and keep themselves fit.
With Rahman not holding a red-ball contract, it only encouraged him to pursue his IPL stint with DC rather than be available for the Sri Lanka series. But things seem to have changed on that front, as Bangladesh look to beef up their pace stocks in the absence of an in-form Taskin Ahmed.
“He (Mustafizur) informed us that he is ready to play Test cricket. Naturally his inclusion will strengthen our Test squad considering he is an experienced campaigner,”BCB chief selector Minhajul Abedin told Cricbuzz.
Rahman has played 14 Tests with 30 wickets at 36.73. While the numbers don’t do justice to the talent, the irregular appearances in the format and thus the lack of rhythm have often been cited as two critical reasons behind the pacer’s Test match struggles. Otherwise, his ability to swing the ball at pace with the left-arm angle and use the variations to good effect has always made “Fizz” a potential Test match stalwart for Bangladesh.
In another notable inclusion, the selectors have recalled elegant right-hand batter Anamul Haque to the white-ball squads after his record-breaking run in the Dhaka Premier League, Bangladesh’s premier domestic List A competition.
Breaking a 31-year-old record achieved by the then Australian allrounder Tom Moody in the DPL, Haque smashed a whopping 1,138 runs for the Prime Bank Cricket Club, averaging 81.28 with a strike-rate of 98.61. Haque’s 15-game tally included three hundreds and nine half-centuries. Having last turned out in an ODI in July 2019, he broke the door down again with a plethora of runs that selectors couldn’t simply ignore.
Bangladesh’s batting great Mushfiqur Rahim is not part of the series entirely after opting out of it recently due to personal reasons.
While an official itinerary for the tour is not yet, Bangladesh are understood to be in for a series of two Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is in the Caribbean. The team will fly over to the West Indies on June 5. As per the prospective fixture list, the first Test will be played in Antigua from June 16-20, followed by the second in St Lucia from June 24-28.
Dominica will host the first two T20Is on July 2 and 3, before the caravan shifts to Guyana for the final T20I on July 7 and the three ODIs on July 10, 13 and 16, respectively.
Bangladesh’s squad for the West Indies tour:
Test: Mominul Haque (c), Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Litton Das (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Mustafiqur Rahman, Taijul Islam, Khaled Ahmed, Yasir Ali, Nurul Hasan (wk), Mosaddek Hossain, Ebadot Hossain, Shohidul Islam, Rezaur Rahman Raja
ODI: Tamim Iqbal (c), Litton Das (wk), Najmul Hossain, Shanto, Shakib Al Hasan, Yasir Ali, Mahmudullah, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Nurul Hasan (wk), Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Ebadot Hossain, Nasum Ahmed, Mohammad Saifuddin, Anamul Haque
T20I: Mahmudullah (c), Munim Shahriar, Litton Das (wk), Anamul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Nurul Hasan (wk), Yasir Ali, Mahedi Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Shohidul Islam, Nasum Ahmed, Mohammad Saifuddin