Shafiul replaces Rubel
Mohammad Ashraful has finally been axed from the Bangladesh squad for the second Test match against Pakistan beginning in Dhaka on Saturday.
The news came from the man himself who told reporters about his omission on the eve of his transfer to Old DOHS from CCS for the forthcoming Dhaka Premier League.
‘I got a call from Sabbir (Khan) just five minutes ago and came to know that I am no longer a part of the team,’ Ashraful told reporters.
His comments put an end to all speculation regarding his participation in the Test after he scored one and duck in two innings of the first Test in Chittagong.
Several media reports suggested on the basis of different selectors’ approval that Ashraful was omitted from the squad for the second Test but the confusion arose when coach Stuart Law on Thursday morning dismissed the reports.
‘We haven’t been told anything different. Maybe it is a speculation and that sort of thing which goes on in this part of the world,’ said Law exposing a lack of coordination between the team management and the selectors.
The BCB has withheld the announcement of squad as its president AHM Mustafa Kamal is now in Singapore to attend an Asian Cricket Council meeting.
Ashraful claimed his exclusion was unjustified.
‘I scored a fifty in my first match in the National League and then went without scoring much in the next few games. Then again I played some good innings towards the end.
‘This is how cricket is played, you score in some matches and you don’t in others. A player cannot be dropped judging his performance in only one match,’ he added.
Ashraful earlier turned up for training on Thursday morning despite the speculations and had an extraordinary session in the nets with most of the coaching staff engaged with him for more than an hour trying to minimise his shortcomings.
Batsman Naeem Islam is now set to replace Ashraful in the squad. Naeem was left out of the first Test due to fever.
However, there was no room for Imrul Kayes, who missed the first Test for a groin injury but resumed training recently.
Reports suggested Shafiul Islam would replace inured Rubel Hossain, though he was unable to attend Thursday’s practice session.
-With New Age input