Shakib Al Hasan returned to business yesterday as the ace all-rounder started fitness training and there were positive signs of him coming back to lead Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy to be held in Sri Lanka from March 6. Hosts Sri Lanka and India are the two other teams in the triangular T20I tournament.
Debashish Chowdhury, Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB's) physician, expressed his optimism about the inspirational all-rounder's return for the upcoming Sri Lanka tour.
“We don't think there is any uncertainty about his return for the Sri Lanka tour. I hope he will be fully fit within this month. He started fitness training today and he will not have a problem with bowling practice, but it may take two or three days for him to start batting,” said Chowdhury yesterday.
“He already overcame the danger period, so if he wants to play the ongoing Dhaka Premier League there is no bar from our side,” he added.
Shakib had sustained an injury to his left little finger during the ODI tri-series final in Mirpur on January 27 and missed the Test and T20I series against Sri Lanka, both of which the home side lost badly. Shakib's loss seemed to severely dent the confidence of the team and interestingly, even ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza admitted that in a recent conversation with the media in which he hoped that Shakib's return will change the dipping fortunes of the side.
Meanwhile, the BCB was yet to decide about who will take the role of head coach for the Sri Lanka trip as Khaled Mahmud already told the media that he was not interested to continue as a technical director. According to sources, the board is also thinking about temporarily giving the responsibility to one of the existing foreign coaching staff as they are still searching for a suitable head coach after the departure of Chandika Hathurusingha last November.
However there will be a short training camp with the final squad, most likely a three-day camp, before the team leaves for Sri Lanka on March 4 as the players have been playing the ongoing Dhaka League.
The selectors in the meantime called up fourteen pace bowlers and five batsmen to take part in a nine-day special practice camp under Bangladesh bowling coach Courtney Walsh at the BCB National Cricket Academy from today.
The selected players are Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain, Imrul Kayes, Abu Jayed, Ebadat Hossain, Soumya Sarkar, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Ariful Haque, Abul Hasan, Mohammad Robiul, Zakir Hasan, Abu Hider, Khaled Ahmed, Sabbir Ahmed, Mohammad Saifuddin, Qazi Onik, Kamrul Islam Rabbi and Hossain Ali.