Sports, Cricket

Uncapped Rishad and Jaker Ali in Bangladesh T20 squad

Published : 22 Mar 2023 09:04 PM

The uncapped pair of Rishad Hossain and Jaker Ali have earned national call-ups for the first time, for Bangladesh’s T20I series against Ireland – the three-match series starts on March 27. Shoriful Islam has come back, making it three changes from the side that beat England 3-0 earlier this month. Afif Hossain, Tanvir Islam and Rejaur Rahman Raja have been left out.

The inclusion of legspinner Rishad is the most interesting call. He has been around the senior setup for the last few years but has hardly had any opportunities – even in the domestic circuit, like many legspinners in the country. The last time he played regularly in a domestic tournament was nearly two years ago in the Dhaka Premier League T20s. This season, Rishad has only bowled 5.1 overs in the first-class competition.

It's likely that Chandika Hathurusingha, the head coach, wanted to have a look at him in competitive cricket. During his first stint as Bangladesh coach, too, Hathurusingha had drafted in legspinner Jubair Hossain after seeing him bowl in the Bangladesh nets in 2014. Jaker is an in-form batter, who scored three consecutive centuries in the Bangladesh Cricket League – he was the top-scorer in the tournament with 492 runs from six innings. He was also part of Comilla Victorians’ BPL triumph this season.

Shoriful came back in place of Rejaur, who hasn’t played an international match despite being in several Bangladesh squads since late 2021.

Afif’s exclusion counts as a major setback for the young left-hand batter. His unbroken string of 61 T20I appearances ended when he was dropped for the third T20I against England, and till recently a shoo-in for both white-ball formats, Afif now finds himself on the sidelines.

The three T20Is will be played in Chattogram on March 27, 29 and 31.

Bangladesh T20I squad changes 

IN: Rishad Hossain, Jaker Ali, Shoriful Islam.

OUT: Afif Hossain, Tanvir Islam, Rejaur Rahman Raja.