Sports, Cricket

Shakib returns as Bangladesh ODI skipper for World Cup, Asia Cup

Published : 11 Aug 2023 08:40 PM

Shakib Al Hasan has been appointed Bangladesh ODI captain once again on Friday, and will lead them in the Asia Cup and World Cup. Shakib takes over following Tamim Iqbal's resignation on August 3 after he was ruled out of the Asia Cup because of a back injury.

Shakib takes over at a critical time for Bangladesh, with the Asia Cup followed by a home ODI series against New Zealand in September, before they travel to India for the ODI World Cup starting on October 5.

BCB president Nazmul Hassan made the announcement in a surprise media briefing at his residence in Dhaka.

"Shakib Al Hasan is the captain for the Asia Cup, New Zealand series and World Cup," he said. "We will speak more to him when he returns to Bangladesh [from Lanka Premier League]. We have to know his long-term plan. I spoke to him on the phone yesterday. But it is better if we talk to him in person since he is busy with a franchise league currently. We will also talk about which format he will keep leading, whether it is all three formats or one or two of them.

"There was never any confusion. I told you before. He is the obvious choice. Who else can lead? But we had to talk to him before appointing him. Nobody should think anything else. Shakib is the captain. He was always the main choice."

Hassan further said that the Asia Cup squad will be the same as the World Cup squad. "They have just one spot open. We still don't know about Tamim Iqbal who is recovering from a back injury. We might trial one or two openers in the Asia Cup," he said.

Shakib is, for now, the Bangladesh captain in all three formats, having started his third stint as Test captain and T20I captain last year.

Shakib had also led Bangladesh in 49 ODIs between 2009 and 2011, when he first became captain, and won 22 of those. It was an on-again-off-again job for Shakib, who was essentially deputising for the frequently-injured Mashrafe Mortaza. Shakib later captained Bangladesh in three more ODIs in 2015 and 2017, each time standing in for Mashrafe. Shakib has so far led Bangladesh in 19 Tests and 39 T20Is, and the last of his 50 ODIs as captain was in 2017.

The change in leadership comes after Tamim quit as Bangladesh's ODI captain because of the uncertainty around his fitness as he recovers from a back injury. While he is out of the Asia Cup that starts on August 30, Tamim hopes to be fit in time for the ODI series against New Zealand that begins on September 21 and the ODI World Cup that follows.

Tamim's resignation came less than a month after he reversed his emotional decision to retire from international cricket. He had retired on July 6 but the following afternoon, Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina requested him to change his decision.