The Bangladesh Cricket Board on Friday announced a 21-member preliminary squad for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka that includes three uncapped pacers Mukidul Islam, Shahidul Islam and Shoriful Islam. Meanwhile, Nurul Hasan, Shuvagoto Hom and Khaled Ahmed return to the Bangladesh squad.
Mustafizur Rahman, Soumya Sarkar and Hasan Mahmud, who were part of the squad that featured in the two-match Test series against West Indies, are excluded. Shakib Al Hasan, who missed the second Test against West Indies due to injury, opted out of the Sri Lanka to play in the IPL. He was given an NOC by the BCB, as was Mustafizur.
The BCB decided to send additional bowlers in the squad to Sri Lanka as the home board will not be providing any net bowlers for their practice sessions. The visitors are expected to play a practice game before the two-match Test series which gets underway on April 21.
"We have formed an extended squad as we will not have net bowlers while we will also play an intra-squad practice match," BCB chief selector Minhajul Abedin told Cricbuzz. "We will announce the Test squad after the practice game, and the cricketers failing to make a spot in the Test squad will return home in due time.
Bangladesh will play a two-day intra-squad warm-up game which is scheduled on April 17-18 at CMC, Katunayake.
The first Test will be played from April 21-25 while the second game will be held from April 29-May 3, with both games to be played in Pallekele.
Speaking about the newcomers in the team as well as those returning, Minhajul said: "They (Shoriful, Mukidul and Shohidul) have been in our HP setup and have impressed in whichever version they have played in. Mukidul and Shahidul in particular, have caught the eye in domestic first class cricket this season and are future Test prospects. They all have age on their side and are talented.
"Shuvagata is coming back after a while but he has been a consistent performer in first class cricket. We have considered him as a batting all-rounder but his off break is pretty handy also and gives us an option in the spin department," he added.
The series against Sri Lanka was originally scheduled for July last year but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Another attempt was made to play the series in October-November but it did not materialize as Bangladesh were not ready to comply with 14-day quarantine in Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh had an optional training session today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium which was attended by Test skipper Mominul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim, while Tamim Iqbal and few other members opted not to attend.
Squad: Mominul Haque (c), Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Khan, Shadman Islam, Abu Jayed, Taijul Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain, Mohammad Hasan, Yasir Ali, Shoriful Islam, Khaled Ahmed, Mukidul Islam, Shuvagata Hom, Shahidul Islam, Nurul Hasan.