Mushfiqur Rahim has been sidelined from Bangladesh's T20I squad first time since 2008, for the upcoming series against Pakistan, after the team was knocked out of the T20 World Cup 2021, losing each of their five Super 12s matches. Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar and Rubel Hossain have also been excluded.
T20 World Cup 2021 turned out to be a poor campaign for Bangladesh, as they lost each of their five Super 12s matches to bow out of the competition. They will now take on Pakistan in a three-match home T20I series, beginning Friday, November 19.
There were some notable omissions in the 16-member squad for the series, as announced on Tuesday.
The team has six changes from the World Cup squad and Mushfiqur Rahim has been dropped for the first time since 2008. Mushfiqur scored 144 runs in eight matches in the recently concluded competition. Bangladesh chief selector Minhajul Abedin stated that Mushfiqur has been "rested" keeping in mind Bangladesh’s future schedule, but the 34-year-old reportedly wanted to particiapte in the series.
"We have four back-to-back Test matches against Pakistan and New Zealand," Minhajul said. "He is a key player. He is one of our best players. Tamim Iqbal is already injured. He is in doubt for the Test series. We want our best player to give his best during the Test series, so after consulting extensively with the team management, we have decided to rest him. It is only for the Pakistan series. He will be available later.”
Selectors have opted for young names and have excluded Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar and Rubel Hossain. Shakib Al Hasan and Saifuddin were already ruled out of selection with injuries. Batsmen Saif Hassan, Yasir Ali, pacer Shahidul Islam and wicketkeeper Akbar Ali are the fresh entries in the lineup. Najmul Hossain Shanto and leg-spinner Aminul Islam have returned to the side. Abedin stated that the dropped players will have to perform well in the domestic competitions to make a comeback into the team.
"We have just come from a disappointing T20 World Cup. It was unexpected. We didn't have a bad team. We won both the T20I series at home this year. Still, we are trying to start afresh. Our planning for the next T20 World Cup begins after this season's BPL, but we want to start well in this series,” Abedin stated.
"Those who are dropped, they have to do well in the domestic competitions. The BPL is coming up. Nobody will be forgotten. We have to keep them in the system. We have the A team programme. We also have the High Performance Unit. We will keep everyone we need, in these squads."
The first Bangladesh-Pakistan T20I will be played at Dhaka's Shere Bangla National Stadium on Friday, November 19.