ICC WORLD CUP 2019
Steve Rhodes, the head coach of Bangladesh, played a big part behind Jayed’s selection © Getty
Bangladesh pace bowler Abu Jayed is the only surprise inclusion in Bangladesh’s 15-member World Cup squad. Leading up to the day of squad announcement though, Taskin Ahmed had hogged all the spotlight, as he desperately tried to prove his fitness to the national selectors.
Taskin, who missed the New Zealand tour due to an ankle injury, was indeed a prime contender to make it into the squad as the fifth pace bowler. There was also Shafiul Islam who managed to get some media mileage, both considered to be experienced campaigners and right fits for a big tournament like the World Cup.
While Taskin failed to impress the selectors with his fitness, Shafiul’s form was not satisfactory, and that paved the way for Jayed, a seasoned domestic campaigner, to find a berth in the squad for the World Cup, set to be staged in England from May 30.
Cricbuzz understand that Steve Rhodes, the head coach of Bangladesh, played a big part behind Jayed’s selection. Rhodes is reported to have immense belief in the ability of Jayed to swing the ball, which will be an advantage for Bangladesh in England.
Rhodes’s insistence forced the selection panel to include Jayed, the 25-year old medium pacer who has become a regular in Bangladesh’s Test plans but is yet to make his ODI debut.
”Naturally it was surprising,” Jayed said in the aftermath of his selection, having just completed his practice session with Prime Dholeshar at the Dhaka Premier League. “I played well in two matches of DPL in this (very) field recently and I felt I could have been in the 20-member preliminary squad. So I was surprised when I heard that I am in the 15-member squad.”
Jayed has played five Tests and three Twenty20 internationals so far but primarily he made a name for himself as a red-ball bowler. He will now need to quickly learn how to swing the white ball too.
When asked whether it will be a challenge, he said, ”I am playing cricket for the last 10 years and during this time, had the opportunity to play a lot of cricket at different levels. So don’t think it will be a big problem.
It is ideal for the pace bowlers to play in a country like England, as the ball swings in those conditions and since my main strength is swing, I am really optimistic. “I got appreciated for my ability to swing the ball even by some of the leading batsmen in New Zealand [during the last series], who believed that if I can work on it I have a good chance of turning into a good bowler. Recently Mashrafe bhai [ODI skipper] told me that he is also optimistic about my ability to swing the ball.”
Jayed added that he is not getting carried away because he’s made it into the 15-member squad but he is rather looking forward to challenging the other pace bowlers – Mashrafe, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain and Mohammad Saifuddin – for a place in the playing XI.
He is already far ahead of his competitors as far as picking wickets in domestic circuit is concerned during the last decade, and is looking forward to do the same if opportunity arises in England.
“It’s nice to be picked in the 15-member squad but now the challenge is to make a place in the playing XI and repay back the faith shown by the team management,” Jayed said.