Cricket

Bangladesh pick uncapped Fazle Mahmud; Tamim Iqbal still injured


Bangladesh have called up uncapped left-hand batsman Fazle Mahmud and recalled seamer Mohammad Saifuddin in place of the injured Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan for the three-ODI series against Zimbabwe, which starts on October 21 in Dhaka.

Shakib’s recurring finger injury has ruled him out for at least three months, while Tamim still hasn’t recovered from the wrist injury sustained in the Asia Cup opener against Sri Lanka.

Saifuddin last played ODI cricket in January earlier this year, while 30-year-old Mahmud, who has played 80 List A games so far, was rewarded for his performances for the A team on the tour to Ireland.

Mahmud had made 136 runs in three innings at an average of 45.33 and strike rate of 115.25 in the one-day series in Ireland in August. More recently, he scored a career-best 195 for Barisal Division against Rangpur Division in a first-class fixture.

Mahmud heard the news of his call-up while he was on a bus to Barisal from a NCL match in Khulna. “It is a dream come true,” Mahmud told ESPNcricinfo. “I have waited a very long time for this opportunity. I want to make the best of it.”

Saiuddin had also done fairly well with the A team on the tour to Ireland. He took six wickets in five one-dayers at an economy rate of 5.38. In addition to being handy with his medium-pace, Saifuddin can produce big hits with the bat in the lower order.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza and Mushfiqur Rahim made themselves available, despite recovering from injuries. The selectors also kept faith in Nazmul Hossain Shanto, who made just 20 runs in three innings in the Asia Cup, and Ariful Haque, who didn’t play a single game in the tournament.

Squad: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Liton Das, Imrul Kayes, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Ariful Haque, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mustafizur Rahman, Nazmul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Abu Hider, Mohammad Saifuddin, Fazle Mahmud



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