The Bangladesh team, led by Mominul Haque, yesterday reached Kandy where the visitors will play both Tests of the two-match series against Sri Lanka. The first Test is scheduled to start tomorrow while the second and final Test will begin from April 29, both at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
Bangladesh went to the island nation with a 21-member preliminary squad as the Sri Lankan board had earlier announced it would not provide with any local players for the visitors' warm-up match ahead of the Tests. Bangladesh played a two-day intra-squad warm-up match at Chilaw Marians Cricket Club ground in Katunayake on April 17 and 18 before going to Kandy yesterday.
And though the team management was supposed to announce the final squad yesterday, however, by the time of filing of this report, no such announcements came from the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). But it was learnt that a meeting was held following their arrival in Kandy and a final squad of 17 has been finalised with the team management unofficially informing the selected players.
The selectors had raised eyebrows when they included 34-year-old Shuvagata Hom in the preliminary squad, mentioning him as a batting all-rounder and a replacement for all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who has opted out of the tour to fulfil his IPL commitments for Kolkata Knight Riders. It, however, remains to be seen if Hom, who played his last Test back in 2016, makes it to the final squad.
Bangladesh went to the tour of Sri Lanka on the back of some bleak performances that drew heavy criticism from fans and media. The Tigers resumed after the coronavirus-induced break with a 3-0 win in ODIs against a depleted West Indies side, but then series whitewashes in all formats. Bangladesh lost 2-0 in Tests against West Indies at home earlier this year before being whitewashed in both ODIs and T20Is away to New Zealand last month.