Wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Mithun and left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam Apu are likely to be new inclusions in the Bangladesh T20I squad for the first of two T20Is against Sri Lanka. The Tigers are set to lock horn with visitor Sri Lanka in the first T20I Thursday at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka.
Though the Bangladesh Cricket Board is yet to make an official decision and announcement, it is understood that discussions over considering Mithun and Nazmul for the series are being made after captain Shakib al Hasan was ruled out from the series due to injury. Shakib during a press conference Sunday had informed of his unavailability from the Sri Lanka T20Is.
Shakib, who injured his left little finger during the final of the tri-nation ODI series last month, was first ruled out from the two-match Test series against the Lankans. The Bangladesh Test and T20I captain was being considered for the T20I series with expectations that he would recover in time. The BCB Saturday announced a 15-member squad with Shakib as captain only to see the ace all-rounder reveal his unavailability the next day.
In the Test series, the BCB had three inclusions in the squad due to Shakib’s unavailability. Initially the board named all-rounder Tanbir Hayder and spinner Sanjamul Islam and later, made the surprise inclusion of veteran left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak. Razzak was benched in the first Test as he made a brilliant return to the five-day scene after almost four years. Bangladesh faced a humiliating loss in the second and final Test in Dhaka, losing by 215 runs due to batting failure, but Razzak had made his mark, taking four wickets in the first innings and one in the second.
The BCB selectors are considering Mithun and Nazmul, backed by their respective performances in the Bangladesh Premier League T20 2017. Mithun was retained by Rangpur Riders for the season and the right-handed batsman scored 329 runs in 13 innings to guide the side to their maiden BPL trophy. Mithun scored his runs at a strike rate of 117.5 and average of 29.9. Mithun last played for Bangladesh in the format during the 2016 World T20.
Nazmul also played for Rangpur 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 will have a total of six uncapped cricketers in the 16-man dressing room.