Left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam Apu was announced as the replacement for Bangladesh T20I captain Shakib al Hasan for the first of two T20Is against Sri Lanka, scheduled for Thursday. The BCB through a press release Tuesday officially ruled out Shakib from the first game of the series, to be held at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka. The BCB informed that the ace all-rounder has not sufficiently recovered from a finger injury sustained during the final of the tri-nation ODI series last month.
On the other hand, middle-order batsman Mahmudullah was named the captain in Shakib’s absence.
It was expected that opener Tamim Iqbal would get the responsibility to lead the Tigers, given that the opening batsman is the vice-captain of the Bangladesh T20I side. The BCB president Nazmul Hasan during a press conference in December last year, where he had declared Shakib as the new Test captain in place of wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, had announced Tamim as the Bangladesh T20I vice-captain.
It is a basic practice to see the vice captain get the charge of the team in the absence of the captain, like it had happened with Mahmudullah in the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka. Bangladesh Test vice-captain Mahmudullah was given the charge of the Test team after Shakib was ruled out from the series. The decision has one again raised eyebrows with regards to the BCB and its policies.
Meanwhile, the inclusion of Nazmul was based on the left-arm spinner’s performance in the Bangladesh Premier League T20 2017. Nazmul played for BPL 2017 champion Rangpur Riders and caught the attention with his 12 wickets in 10 innings at an economy rate of 6.53. Nazmul’s inclusion in the Bangladesh T20I squad means the side now have a total of six uncapped cricketers in the 15-member dressing room. Ariful Haque, Zakir Hasan, Abu Jayed Rahi, Afif Hossain and Mehedi Hasan are the other five cricketers in the Bangladesh T20I squad for the series.
Mahmudullah (Captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Saifuddin, Abu Haider Rony, Abu Jahed Rahi, Ariful Hoque, Mehedi Hasan, Zakir Hasan, Afif Hossain and Nazmul Islam Apu