Sports, Cricket

‘Saifuddin axed from WC for death over struggles’

Published : 14 May 2024 09:33 PM

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) chief selector Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu revealed on Tuesday that all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin's disappointing death bowling performances in the recently concluded Zimbabwe series led to his omission from the final Bangladesh squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup.

Saifuddin, who featured in the provisional squad submitted to the ICC on April 30th, managed eight wickets across the four matches against Zimbabwe, but his economy rate of 9.31 runs per over raised concerns. Notably, he was the only player axed from the initial selection. "We considered him," Lipu explained at a press conference held in Mirpur following the announcement of the final squad. "The Bangladesh Premier League formed the basis for our team selection, and we haven't deviated significantly from that squad. Saifuddin is the sole player who failed to make the final cut from the provisional squad submitted on the 30th. Tanzim Sakib has been brought in to replace him."

Lipu elaborated that Saifuddin's inability to consistently deliver yorkers in the crucial death overs, a key skill for pace bowlers, ultimately cost him his place.

"While batting opportunities were limited for him, Saifuddin was highly regarded for his ability to bowl yorkers at the death. Unfortunately, we didn't see much of that from him during the Zimbabwe series. There's still significant room for improvement. We observed a clear disparity between his performances in domestic cricket and international cricket."

The chief selector expressed their satisfaction with Tanzim Sakib's commitment and determination displayed during the Sri Lanka series, qualities that ultimately secured him a spot in the World Cup squad. "We saw Tanzim in action during the Sri Lanka series," Lipu said. "His dedication and unwavering determination to deliver on the field put him ahead in the selection process."

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) officially announced a 15-man squad for the T20 World Cup, with Najmul Hossain Shanto taking the helm as captain and Taskin Ahmed named as his vice-captain.

Lipu has also explained the decision to make Taskin the vice-captain. He remarked, "Taskin is a promising talent from the newer generation who is already leading in another category. His extensive experience in various formats of the national team makes him an obvious choice for the role."

Taskin will miss the upcoming preparatory T20I series against the USA due to an injury, but the selectors are optimistic about his recovery in time for the World Cup. "Based on the information available, he is expected to be fit during the World Cup. 

The current regulations allow teams to include an injured player, who can participate if he recovers in time. Otherwise, a substitution can be made. Unfortunately, Taskin is unable to play in the series against the USA."