Nasir, Soumya picked for World Cup

Bangladesh on Sunday recalled batsman Nasir Hossain and picked all-rounder Soumya Sarkar in their 15-man squad for the World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand. Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan announced the squad at a packed press conference more than two hours after the schedule. Nazmul held a long meeting with the selectors and fellow BCB directors before naming the squad. The BCB president said that they did not bring any changes to the squad submitted by the selectors, though earlier report suggested that selectors wanted uncapped Abahani batsman Liton Kumar instead of Soumya Sarkar. The 21-year old batting all-rounder Soumya was finally preferred ahead of experienced Imrul Kayes and Shamsur Rahman, despite playing just one one-day international so far.

Nasir missed the recent home series against Zimbabwe but returned to form in domestic 50-over league, hitting exactly 550 runs in 15 matches at 50.00 to regain his place. ‘The return of Nasir will add depth in out batting,’ said chief selector Faruk Ahmed. ‘Soumya is a utility player who can bat at the top order and his medium pace bowling also can be handy in Australian-New Zealand.’ Paceman Taskin Ahmed also returned to the side at the expense of Shafiul Islam while Sabbir Ahmed and Taijul Islam, who both made their ODI debuts in Zimbabwe series, were retained. There was no room for left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, Bangladesh leading wicket-taker in ODIs with 207 wickets in 153 matches and most successful bowler in World Cup. Arafat Sunny, who claimed eight wickets in his last two ODIs, was picked before Razzak. ‘Sunny is a seasoned campaigner, who is playing in top domestic tournaments for the last 10 years,’ said Faruque. ‘But he was not getting chances of because of Razzak.

Now he is in a better form. Also we thought Razzak’s fielding could be an issue.’ Rookie leg-spinner Jubair Hossain, who played two ODIs against Zimbabwe, was also overlooked. Shafiul was made stand-by player and BCB president Nazmul indicated that Jubair also could join the squad as stand-by Paceman Mashrafee bin Murtaza has been named captain of the side while all-rounder Sakib al Hasan was made his deputy. Bangladesh will play in Pool B alongside co-hosts Australia and New Zealand as well as England, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Scotland. They will start their campaign on February 18 against Afghanistan at Canberra. The World Cup 2015 will be held in Australia and New Zealand from February 15 to March 29. Squad: Mashrafee bin Murtaza (Capt), Sakib al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Soumya Sarkar, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Al-Amin Hossain, Taijul Islam, and Arafat Sunny.

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