Bangladesh name squad for one-off T20 against Pakistan

DHAKA, Apr 23 (INP) Mustafizur Rahman and Litton Kumar Das earned maiden call-ups as the Bangladesh selectors named a 15-man squad to be led by Mashrafe Mortaza for the one-off Twenty20 International against Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Mirpur on Friday.

Mustafizur, a left-arm pacer who made his first-class debut in 2014, replaced Rubel Hossain, while Das, an opener, came in for Mominul Haque. Rony Talukdar, a middle-order batsman, was the only other uncapped member in the squad.

“We have decided to rest Rubel in order to keep him fresh for the Test series as he is our main strike bowler,” said Faruque Ahmed, the chairman of selectors.

Explaining the other picks, Ahmed said, “Mustafizur’s inclusion may come as a surprise to some but he has impressed during his time with the Under-19s and the ‘A’ team. He is an intelligent bowler with good variation, which is required in T20 cricket. Besides, being a left-arm seamer he gives us a different option.

“Litton has been in our radar for a while now and he has the runs behind him in first class and List A cricket. He is one for the future.”

Bangladesh are on an unprecedented high following a 3-0 whitewash of Pakistan in the One-Day International series that finished on Wednesday. It was the team’s first series win over Pakistan and only their fourth overall.

The ODI series was preceded by a good showing at the World Cup, where Bangladesh reached the quarterfinal before losing to India.

Squad: Tamim Iqbal, Rony Talukdar, Soumya Sarkar, Litton Kumar Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Taskin Ahmed, Abul Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Arafat Sunny.