Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have announced a 14-member squad with Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar returning to the team for the first of the two-match Test series against Pakistan. The Test series will be played in two parts, with the first Test in Rawalpindi in February and the second in April.
After missing out on the Test series against India, senior members of the side Tamim Iqbal, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Rubel Hossain and Soumya Sarkar have returned to the 14-member squad for the first of the two-match Test series against Pakistan, set to be played in Rawalpindi from February 7 to 11.
For the record, Tamim had last played a Test for Bangladesh back in in March 2019 against New Zealand while Sarkar last played in the home Test against Afghanistan in November. Rubel fell out of favour in Test cricket after some poor performances in 2017-18 but Taskin Ahmed's absence brought him back to the side.
"We felt [Najmul Hossain] Shanto has been doing well at every level, especially in the High Performance side while we wanted to give Rubel Hossain another chance in the Test side as Taskin Ahmed isn't fully fit. Soumya has replaced Shadman who requires surgery on his wrist," chief selector Minhajul Abedin said, reported ESPN Cricinfo.
On top of this, while Mushfiqur Rahim had opted out of touring Pakistan due to security concerns, Mosaddek Hossain, Imrul Kayes, Shadman Islam and Mehidy Hasan have all been ruled out with injuries. Mustafizur Rahman's absence from the squad, however, is due to his bad run of form which has been continuing for a while now.
"Mustafizur was dropped due to poor form. He is not regular member of our Test XI in the recent past for many reasons. We feel that he should spend some good amount of time in the domestic tournament to make sure he gets the bowling fitness that is required to play longer-version cricket. We all know he is a champion bowler but somehow he is unable to meet our expectations and we feel that he is also lacking match fitness to some extent," chief selector Minhajul Abedin told Cricbuzz.
Bangladesh Squad for first Test: Mominul Haque (C), Tamim Iqbal, Saif Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mahmudullah, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Das, Taijul Islam, Nayeem Hasan, Ebadat Hossain, Abu Jayed Chowdhury Rahi, Al-Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Soumya Sarkar