Bangladesh Name Rookie Opener for Sri Lanka Test
Bangladesh on Monday included uncapped opening batsman Shamsur Rahman in a 14-man squad for next week’s first Test against Sri Lanka in Dhaka.
Sri Lanka, currently playing against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, arrive in Dhaka on Friday for a tour of two Tests, three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 games.
Shamsur, 25, was rewarded with a likely Test debut following a string of big scores in domestic first-class cricket, including a double-century.
The selectors also recalled opener Imrul Kayes, who played the last of his 16 Tests against the West Indies in 2011. The pair replaced opener Anamul Haque and middle-order batsman Naeem Islam.
“Both Shamsur and Imrul have been in good form for the last six months,” chief selector Faruk Ahmed told reporters. Sri Lanka will remain in Bangladesh after the tour ends on February 22 to take part in the five-nation Asia Cup in Dhaka from February 25-March 8.
Sri Lankan cricket officials said that a security assessment was carried out last week showing it was safe for the national team to play in Bangladesh.
“We have assurances from Bangladesh security forces that there will be a very high level of security,” an official, who asked not to be named, told reporters.
“We have been told that rival political parties in Bangladesh have said they want the cricket to go ahead and have been given an undertaking that matches will not be targeted.”
Bangladesh was rocked by some of the deadliest political violence in its history in recent weeks as the opposition tried to derail the January 5 general election which it boycotted.
Bangladesh is also due to host the 16-nation World Twenty20, its biggest sporting event, from March 16-April 6. The three venues chosen for the World Twenty20 — Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet — had all experienced violence over the past month. Sri Lanka will play at all three venues during their tour.
In 2009, during a trip to Pakistan, the Sri Lankan cricket team was ambushed by gunmen in an attack that wounded several players and killed at least six policemen.
Bangladesh Test squad:
Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Marshall Ayub, Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Mominul Haque, Shamsur Rahman, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Imrul Kayes, Abdur Razzak, Sohag Gazi, Robiul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain.
Sri Lanka’s tour itinerary:
Jan 27-31: First Test, Dhaka
Feb 4-8: Second Test, Chittagong
Feb 12: First Twenty20, Chittagong
Feb 14: Second Twenty20, Chittagong
Feb 17: First one-dayer, Sylhet
Feb 20: Second one-dayer, Dhaka
Feb 22: Third one-dayer, Dhaka