BCB picks three new faces18 January 2021
After a long gap of nine months, Bangladesh cricket team are all set to get back into action with bat and ball from January 20.
They will lock horns with the West Indies in the first ODI match of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh vs West Indies Cricket Series 2021 on this day.
Minhajul Abedin, the chief selector of Bangladesh Cricket Board, said, "We are looking forward to having a new start with this series."
On Saturday, Bangladesh announced an 18-member ODI squad for the series which included three new faces - Mahedi Hasan, Hasan Mahmud and Shoriful Islam.
Mahedi Hasan and Hasan Mahmud already entered the stage of international cricket with T20s, but Shoriful is a new face in the national team.
Shoriful drew attention ahead of the last ICC U-19 World Cup which Bangladesh won beating India in the final. He bagged nine wickets in the competition to help the Junior Tigers complete the triumph.
The left-arm pacer also did well in the Bangabandhu T20 Cup Cricket, pairing up with Mustafizur Rahman.
"Adding three new players in the team is part of our plan. We have selected the players for the future and need to prepare them for the bigger stage of the game. We believe that now is the time," Minhajul told the media after announcing the squad.
"The 2023 World Cup is not that far away; we have to keep that in mind as well. But for now, we have to go series by series. We are expecting a positive brand of cricket from the guys."
BCB usually includes a maximum of 14-5 cricketers in the home series. But it kept the number to 18 this time.
Minhajul said they made the move in response to the Covid-19 situation to allow the team management to replace a player when required.
Along with eight batsmen, BCB included five pace-bowlers - Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, and uncapped Hasan Mahmud and Shoriful Islam.
"We tried to ensure a good combination while finalising the squad and maintained a balance. I believe this team will bring us good results," the chief selector said.
With this series, Shakib Al Hasan makes a comeback to international cricket after serving a one-year ban imposed by the ICC due to failing to report corrupt approaches to the authority.
"The inclusion of the all-rounder will surely boost the morale of the team. We hope Shakib will make a fresh start. Also, we are expecting a better performance from him," Minhajul said.
The ODI series will begin on January 20 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur. The venue will host the second ODI match on January 22, while the third match of the ODI series will be played at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on January 25.