Khaled Ahmed, Shuvagata Hom recalled, with final 15-member squad to be named later
Bangladesh will announce their main squad for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka, which begins on April 21, after the April 17-18 intra-squad practice match in Katunaya. BCB chief selector Minhajul Abedin said that the 21-member preliminary squad will travel to Sri Lanka, when usually the larger squad is trimmed into a 15-member group shortly before the touring party departs for the the host country.
“We have decided to take the preliminary squad to Sri Lanka as it would help our preparation and also give exposure to a number of players who are in our thinking for the longer version going forward. The squad for the Test series will be announced after our inter-squad warm-up game,” Abedin said.
Bangladesh will travel to Sri Lanka with three new faces in reckoning for Test debut: uncapped bowlers Mukidul Islam and Shohidul Islam, along with Shoriful Islam, the left-arm quick who made his T20I debut in New Zealand recently.
Mukidul recently took a 12-wicket haul for Rangpur Division in the NCL match against defending champions Khulna Division. He was impressive in the two white-ball tournaments at the start of the 2020-21 season. As was Shohidul, who has been a steady performer in the last few years, and he had an impressive run in the Bangabandhu T20s, too. He scored his maiden first-class century recently.
“They (Shoriful, Mukidul, and Shohidul) have been in our HP (High Performance) set-up and have impressed in whichever version they have played in,” Abedin said. “Mukidul and Shohidul in particular have caught the eye in domestic first-class [matches] this season and are future Test prospects. They all have age on their side and [they] are talented.”
The selectors have also recalled two players with Test experience after a considerable gap: Khaled Ahmed, who recently recovered from a knee injury, and 34-year-old Shuvagata Hom, who last played a Test in 2016, against England. Since then Hom has scored five first-class hundreds averaging 35.07 with the bat, while taking 104 wickets at an average of 31.29.
“Shuvagata is coming back after a while but he has been a consistent performer in first class cricket. We have considered him as a batting all-rounder but his offbreak is pretty handy also and gives us an option in the spin department,” Abedin said.
From the squad that was selected for the second Test against West Indies in February, Soumya Sarkar and Mustafizur Rahman were dropped while Hasan Mahmud is injured. The BCB gave Shakib Al Hasan a leave of absence to play in the IPL.
Bangladesh’s preliminary squad for Sri Lanka Test series: Mominul Haque, Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, Shadman Islam, Abu Jayed, Taijul Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Ebadat Hossain, Saif Hassan, Yasir Ali, Shoriful Islam, Khaled Ahmed, Mukidul Islam, Shuvagata Hom, Shohidul Islam, Nurul Hasan
In: Shoriful Islam, Khaled Ahmed, Mukidul Islam, Shuvagata Hom, Shohidul Islam, Nurul Hasan
Out: Shakib Al Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84