National selectors announced a 16-member squad for the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, brining in uncapped left-arm spinner Sanjamul Islam in place of off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz. The Minhajul Abedin-led selection panel made few changes from the last team which featured in New Zealand. The new faces in the latest squad are 27-year-old Sanjamul and Shuvagata Hom while Mehedi and leg-spinner Tanveer Haider are excluded from the team. The first ODI will take place at Dambulla on March 25.
But Mahmudullah Riyad retained his place in the ODI team after a lot of drama and probably his omission and then inclusion was the biggest news of the day.
The non-performing top-order batsman hogged the spotlight throughout the day after he was dropped from the second Test squad. Whispering was also ripe that Riyad was going to drop out from the ODI team and the selectors, it was learnt, submitted a 15-member squad to BCB President Nazmul Hassan Papon excluding the experienced right-hander as per the suggestions from the team management from Sri Lanka. But in the afternoon the BCB boss told the reporters that there was no question of dropping Riyad from the team.
So it seemed that the board high-ups, not convinced with the axing of Riyad, added one more player to the squad to accommodate both Riyad and Hom, who was supposed to replace the former in the squad.
Minhajul however dismissed the notion as rumours. “I don't know from where they got the news when we didn't announce the squad. Riyad was very much in our plan.”
Regarding Sanjamul and Hom's inclusion, the former national skipper said: “We picked up Sanjamul for his brilliant performance in the domestic cricket. Sanjamul is a very good left-arm spinner, and useful batsman and an excellent fielder. On the other hand we have decided to include Mehedi in the Emerging Cup team as the team management wanted to play him only in Test right at this moment.”
When asked about Hom's inclusion, he said that Hom is a useful cricketer and he can be a good option for the T20 series. “We have also discussed about Nasir (Hossain) but we finally picked up Shuvagata. Nasir was not considered as there are good options like Mosaddek and Sabbir (Rahman) already in the team. Nasir might be considered for the Emerging Cup.”
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Shabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Masrafe Bin Mortaza (captain), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Subashis Roy, Sanjamul Islam, Shuvagata Hom, Nurul Hasan.