Sunny only uncapped among 18
Naeem Islam and Alok Kapali earned recalls, while Elias Sunny was the only uncapped player to be picked when the national selectors named 18 players yesterday in the Tigers’ squad for the only Twenty20 and the three-match one-day series against the West Indies.
Bangladesh Cricket Board’s media release stated that the first 14 in their list is the squad for the October 11 Twenty20 international while also naming four cricketers — Sohrawardi Shuvo, Shahriar Nafees, Shuvagata Hom Chowdhury, Shahadat Hossain, presumably for the ODI squad that will begin on October 13.
It was however not clear whether any of the “first 14 players” would make the ODI squad or there’s guarantee for the last four in BCB’s announced list to find places as well.
Nonetheless, the selectors ignored only Junaed Siddiqui from the team that played against Zimbabwe last month while Robiul Islam was logically dropped as he didn’t play in the ODIs during that tour.
The replacements were eager to prove their cases in the sole opportunity.
Kapali, who was picked for the Australia series earlier this year after a three-year gap, was subsequently dropped for the Zimbabwe series.
“I will try to make the best of this opportunity,” he said. “It is often thought that my favourite format is Twenty20. I have had success before so I will look to bank on it and make a contribution.”
“I did well in the Singapore Twenty20s recently and I will have confidence coming from that tournament,” added Kapali, who was the first centurion in the rebel Indian Cricket League some years ago.
Naeem’s return was after the World Cup where he starred with the ball against England but found no place against the Aussies or for the Zimbabwe tour. The all-rounder has now made the best of the playing opportunities in the interim.
“I am pleased that I have made the comeback but it will be more important for me to hold on to the place,” said the batsman who made a century in the just-concluded BCB Cup.
Chief selector Akram Khan has said that he was focused on the 14-member squad and not on individual positions which, if needed to be changed, would be made by the team management.
“We still have four games in hand. There are two Twenty20s and two one-dayers (practice matches) against West Indies, so the captain and coach can make their observations from there,” he said.
The former national captain affirmed that Naeem won his place through performance and also fitted the Twenty20 bill.
“It is quite clear why we picked Naeem. It is his performance of late plus we focused on all-rounders for the Twenty20 game.
“[Elias] Sunny is someone we wanted to try because he has been doing well in the Premier League and also recently in the BCB Cup and the four-dayer,” said Akram.
He also said that changes for the one-day team will be chosen from the four other players announced, a theme that will continue for the Test series.
Mushfiqur Rahim (captain/wicketkeeper), Mahmudullah Riyad (vice-captain), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mohammad Ashraful, Shakib Al Hasan, Alok Kapali, Naeem Islam, Nasir Hossain, Abdur Razzak, Elias Sunny, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Nazmul Hossain.
PLAYERS FOR ODIs ONLY
Sohrawardi Shuvo, Shahriar Nafees, Shuvagata Hom, Shahadat Hossain.
-With The Daily Star input