‘Kamal drops Tamim’

BCB announces 14-man squad
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday named a 14-member Bangladesh team for the forthcoming Asia Cup, leaving out Tamim Iqbal. Chief selector Akram Khan said last night that BCB chief AHM Mustafa Kamal cut Tamim from the national team.
“Tamim Iqbal was dropped by [BCB president] Mustafa Kamal. He was in the team that we submitted,” said the former national captain. The left-handed opener was given a clean bill of health on Sunday, having recovered from a groin injury he suffered during the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
Akram’s outburst was the boiling over of emotions having already overseen such unnecessary influences by the president from the moment he took over after the World Cup last year. He had bravely fought against the technical committee which has been coolly dismantled but this could be the last straw.
The extraordinary meddling by Kamal is no surprise as the national team selection has been wrapped in red-tape ever since he took over. Quite literally, the approval and declaration depends on several hands and not just the might of the chief selector’s pen which has been the case in previous regimes.
It has long been believed that the sole influence of the selection panel, made up of no fewer than three former national captains, is just a rule of thumb; it is rather the Bangladesh Cricket Board president who holds the ultimate privilege to give the final green signal, after it is okayed by the board’s cricket operations committee. As usual, the entire tedious process was repeated for this squad which had to be trimmed to fourteen members with six standby players including Tamim.
Another glaring exclusion from the squad was the identities of the captain and vice-captain, and this is thought to be a result of incumbent skipper Mushfiqur Rahim’s outburst following the BPL semifinalists mix-up.
Apart from the opener, Alok Kapali, Naeem Islam, Rubel Hossain, Shahriar Nafees and Forhad Reza were also given the boot. Jahurul Islam, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Shahadat Hossain and new face Anamul Haque are the inclusions.
Jahurul deserves the recall after playing his last game for the Tigers one and a half years ago while Mashrafe returns after eleven months having undergone a knee surgery last year. Shahadat won back a place probably due to a lack of choices while Anamul has impressed over the past two seasons for the Bangladesh A team as well as in the domestic tournaments.
This time Kamal’s whereabouts had to be traced somewhere between Karachi, Dubai and London as he was off to the United Kingdom yesterday. After Akram passed on his team to the committee led by Enayet Hossain Siraj, the mechanism in Mirpur tried to get in touch with Kamal, who upon contact approved the squad after making the changes.

-With The Daily Star input

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