Mahmudullah and Rubel Hossain have been included in the 29-member preliminary squad for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka. Both were dropped from the squad that was picked for the one-off Test against Zimbabwe in February, which was Bangladesh’s last Test before the Covid-19 pandemic brought the sport to a halt.
Opener Saif Hassan, who tested positive for Covid-19 twice in the last two weeks, has been kept in the squad with another test pending later this week. All the selected players will be subjected to several Covid-19 tests during the coming week while residing at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in central Dhaka, from where they will commute daily to the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium for training. This comprises the BCB’s biosecure bubble.
Mahmudullah hasn’t made a fifty in his last four Tests, while Hossain was picked for the Rawalpindi Test against Pakistan earlier this year – his first Test in one-and-a-half years – before being dropped for the next Test at home. Hossain has the worst bowling average among those who have bowled at least 4000 deliveries in Test cricket. Al-Amin Hossain and Soumya Sarkar have also been brought back. They were also dropped for the one-off Test against Zimbabwe.
Nine more players have been called up from outside the last squad. Among the first-time picks in a preliminary squad for the Test side are allrounders Mohammad Saifuddin and Mahedi Hasan. Saifuddin has been impressive in ODIs and T20Is in the last couple of years but the jury is still out on Hasan at the highest level, despite his superb numbers in domestic first-class competitions.
The selectors have also called up middle-order batsman Mosaddek Hossain, openers Imrul Kayes and Shadman Islam, left-arm spinner Sunzamul Islam, pacer Shafiul Islam and wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan.
Bangladesh’s preliminary squad: Mominul Haque, Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Saifuddin, Abu Jayed, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Islam, Imrul Kayes, Taijul Islam, Ebadat Hossain, Shadman Islam, Al-Amin Hossain, Sunzamul Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Hasan Mahmud, Mahedi Hasan, Shafiul Islam, Yasir Ali, Taskin Ahmed, Nurul Hasan, Khaled Ahmed, Saif Hassan.
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