Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is all set to lead Bangladesh on their upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, where they will play a three-match ODI series against the hosts, informed national team selector Habibul Bashar yesterday.
However, wicketkeeper-batsman Liton Das had asked for a leave till August 5 to complete his nuptials and so will not be available for the tour.
Meanwhile, vice-captain Shakib Al Hasan, who is currently on holiday with his family, is likely to miss the series as well. The champion all-rounder previously requested the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for a break following the Tigers’ World Cup campaign.
There are also concerns regarding the availability of both Mahmudullah Riyad and Mushfiqur Rahim, who have been nursing injuries since the World Cup.
Bashar, in hopes of a fresh start after a disappointing World Cup, is expected to form the best possible team for the Sri Lanka tour.
“Some of the players have injury concerns, we haven’t got that report in our hand. Mahmudullah has some injury concerns, Mashrafe has also some injury problems and Mushfiq [-ur Rahim] has some problems,” he said. “But as far as we know, they will be able to play. But we haven’t got that report in our hand yet. I think we should start from this series. I am hoping that we get everyone fit so that we can take everyone with us.”
According to Bashar, Mashrafe will have to complete a fitness test ahead of the series as the seamer has been suffering from side strain injury since the World Cup. However, he hopes that the inspirational cricketer will be able to recover in time.
“I think he is fit. Mashrafe’s fitness is upon himself. I think, he will need to give a fitness test. There are a few concerns about him because he played the World cup with injury. He has got some time to recover from that. I am hoping that he will be fit before the Sri Lanka series,” Bashar told reporters yesterday.
The former captain also informed that they have already started work on forming the squad, keeping the absence of Shakib and Liton in mind.
“We discussed this matter today. If we don’t get them [Shakib & Liton], who might be their replacement. Liton has asked for leave and perhaps Shakib asked for a leave earlier but that is not also confirmed yet. We were told to keep two options open and we have thought about that too,” explained Bashar.
It was also learnt that the Tigers will not have a training camp before their departure for Sri Lanka on July 20. Bangladesh will play the first of the three-match ODI on July 26 while the other two matches are scheduled for July 28 and 31 respectively.
-With The Daily Star input