Middle-order batsman Ariful Haque, right-arm pacer Abu Jayed, all-rounder Afif Hossain, right-arm spinner Mehedi Hasan and wicketkeeper-batsman Zakir Hasan got their maiden call-up as the Bangladesh Cricket Board announced a 15-member squad for the first T20I against Sri Lanka.
Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal and left-arm pacemen Mustafizur Rahman and Abu Haider also returned to the T20I fold. Tamim and Mustafizur missed Bangladesh's last T20I against South Africa due to injury.
Haider, who previously featured for Bangladesh in the shortest format only, returned to the side after almost two years, having last played in the 2016 World T20. Haider bagged 15 wickets in 13 innings for Dhaka Dynamites in the Bangladesh Premier League T20 season 2017, thus bringing himself to national contention.
Ariful, Jayed and Afif earned their call based on their effort in the BPL T20 2017 for Khulna Titans. Right-handed batsman Ariful was in the limelight due to his match-winning knocks. The lower middle-order batsman scored 237 runs in 11 innings at an average of 29.62.
Jayed had finished the season as the second highest wicket-taker with 18 scalps in 12 innings while Afif has been among discussions of the Bangladesh cricket fraternity for quite some time now, most recently because of his all-round performance for Bangladesh U-19 in the 2018 U-19 World Cup in New Zealand.
Mehedi caught the attention in the last BPL taking 10 wickets in as many innings for Comilla Victorians while middle-order batsman Zakir played quite a few destructive innings for Rajshahi Kings. The left-hander scored 169 runs in eight innings.
Host Bangladesh will lock horn with Sri Lanka in the first of two T20Is at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Thursday. The second and final T20I will be played at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on February 18.
Shakib al Hasan (C), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Saifuddin, Abu Haider Rony, Abu Jayed Rahi, Ariful Haque, Mehedi Hasan, Zakir Hasan and Afif Hossain