The selectors are all set to announce the Bangladesh squad, sans Shakib Al Hasan and Liton Kumar Das, today for the upcoming three-match ODI series in Sri Lanka which begins on July 26.
The selectors plan to call up left-arm spinner Taijul Islam, who is currently in India participating in the the Dr. (Captain) K. Thimmappiah Memorial tournament for BCB XI, as a replacement for Shakib, who will soon perform Hajj and therefore be unavailable for the tour.
There are other options though such as Imrul Kayes or Yasir Ali, who was included in the tri-nation series in Ireland as the third opener of the 14-member team.
“Shakib is going to perform the ‘Holy Hajj’ so we are going to miss him. Liton will also miss the tour because of his marriage. That was fixed a long time ago. We will miss these two players,” Akram told reporters yesterday.
Akram also added that the board plans to once again give Khaled Mahmud the interim coach position for the upcoming Sri Lanka tour since there is currently a crisis regarding the new head coach position.
“You all know there is a crisis about the head coach but we are trying to get one. We will take the service of Khaled Mahmud as our main coach but we are trying to get someone,” he said.
Meanwhile, Wasim Jaffer and Champaka Ramanayake, who are currently working with the BCB High Performance Unit, were appointed as the new batting and bowling consultant respectively.
Neil McKenzie’s contract with the BCB as the limited overs batting consultant ended with the World Cup. The South African has not renewed his contract and so, is not expected to be available for the tour.
Akram, however, added that both Jaffer and Champaka are bound to take on additional responsibilities and were not chosen as the permanent replacements of Neil McKenzie and former bowling coach Courtney Walsh, whose contract was also not renewed by the board after the World Cup.
“Champaka [Ramanayake] is also a very good bowling coach and we have him as our backup and now we will take him to this tour. Look, some of our coaches had requested for leave during the time of Sri Lanka tour as there was some problem regarding the tour [after the terrorist attack] and only was confirmed in the recent past. If McKenzie is unable to give us time [which is likely to be the case] then we will take Wasim Jaffer as the batting coach,”Akram said.
The former Bangladesh captain also revealed that fielding consultant Ryan Cook and trainer Mario Villavarayan will join the training camp, which is set to begin on July 18.
There have also been some injury concerns over skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who has been struggling with a hamstring injury and is expected to take a fitness test.
However, Akram is confident over Mahmudullah Riyad, who suffered a Grade-1 tear on his right calf muscle during the World Cup match against Afghanistan, along with Mushfiqur Rahim, who suffered a blow on his forearm while training during the World Cup.
Young all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin has been suffering from back injury but is also expected to be fully fit ahead of the Sri Lanka tour.
“Mahmudullah is recovering fast and so is Mashrafe so we are hopeful that they will be fully fit for the upcoming tour,”Akram said.
The Bangladesh team are scheduled to depart for Sri Lanka on July 20. The Tigers will take part in the first of the three-match ODI series on July 26 while the other two games will take place on July 28 and 31.