No place for Mashrafe Mortaza as Bangladesh announce preliminary squad for West Indies ODIs

The snub from BCB has put a huge question mark on Mortaza's future in international cricket.

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Mashrafe Mortaza
Mashrafe Bin Mortaza. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have decided against picking former skipper Mashrafe Mortaza in the 24-man preliminary squad for the forthcoming ODI series against West Indies. The snub from BCB has put a huge question mark on Mortaza’s future in international cricket. Having made his ODI debut way back in 2001, Mortaza was never dropped from the ODI squad although he missed several games because of persistent problems with injuries.

Mortaza was one of the biggest talking points in the buildup to the squad announcement. The veteran bowler showed that he is still keen to don the Bangladesh jersey by proving his fitness and impressing with the ball during the recently-concluded Bangabandhu T20 Cup. He picked up seven wickets in four games including his maiden five-wicket haul in the shortest format of the game.

Mortaza had stepped down as Bangladesh’s ODI captain during the last home series against Zimbabwe. He, however, made it clear that he had no desire of hanging his boots although the talks of his retirement have been doing the round since the conclusion of the 2019 World Cup where he looked like a pale shadow of his usual self.

Eye on 2023 World Cup

While Mortaza is still willing to represent his national team, the Bangladesh selectors and the team management have decided otherwise. With an eye on the 2023 World Cup, the selectors and the team management decided to try out others in place of the veteran former skipper. While announcing the squads, the BCB chief selector said that Mortaza understood the decision and stated that he would continue to play domestic cricket.

”We have full respect for him (Mortaza) as he had given lot for us. It was a difficult decision but we have to accept reality. We have taken this decision talking with the team management and everyone concerned. It’s a big opportunity for the player who will replace him in the team. I have spoken with him(Mortaza) and there is no sort of misunderstanding between us. He said he wants to continue playing domestic cricket,” BCB chief selector Minhajul Abedin told reporters at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Monday.

”The team management had given plan to us and we have shared our plan and we want to take the cricket ahead and so we have taken this decision. We have to give chance to youngster. We are beginning this series without Mortaza but we are keeping an eye on the 2023 World Cup. Our team management had given us a plan where the vision is 2023 World Cup and keeping that in mind we decided not to include him,” he added.

Another highlight of the squads’ announcement is the return of ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. The southpaw has been named in the Test and ODI squad after completing his one year ban imposed by ICC  for failing to report corrupt approaches. The upcoming series will be Bangladesh’s first series since the COVID-19 pandemic stopped cricket in the country in mid-March.

Preliminary Squad for ODI Series:

Tamim Iqbal Khan, Taskin Ahmed, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Al Amin Hossain, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Md. Shoriful Islam, Mushfiqur Rahim, Hasan Mahmud, Md Mithun, Saif Uddin, Liton Kumer Das, Mustafizur Rahman, Md Mahmud Ullah, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Afif Hossain Dhrubo, Taijul Islam, Musaddek Hossain Saikat, Nasum Ahmed, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Parvez Hossain Emon, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Mahadi Hasan, Naim Sheikh, Rubel Hossain

Preliminary Squad for Test Series:

Momimul Haque Showrab, Taskin Ahmed, Tamim Iqbal Khan, Syed Khaled Ahmed, Shakib Al Hasan, Hasan Mahmud, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mustafizur Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Md Mithun, Taijul Islam, Liton Kumer Das, Quazi Nurul Hasan Sohan, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Shadman Islam, Mohammed Saif Hasan, Nayeem Hasan, Abu Jayed Chowdhury Rahi, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury

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