BANGLADESH IN SRI LANKA 2019
Mortaza was non-committal about his retirement plans after his side’s 2019 World Cup campaign came to an end. © Getty
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza is expected to play on and lead the side in the upcoming three-match ODI’s series against Sri Lanka. Following the end of their World Cup campaign, Mortaza had said that he was yet to decide on whether or not he would call time on his career and was non-committal about his availability for the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka to be played in Colombo on June 26, 28 and 31.
Mortaza’s arrival at the impromptu meeting called by the national selection panel at Bangladesh Cricket Board premises on Friday only implied he had made up his mind to play on, which selector Habibul Bashar admitted to the media later. Despite making himself available, Mortaza has a few issues – like form and fitness – to sort out before he embarks on the tour of Sri Lanka.
“I think, he [Mortaza] is fit,” Habibul Bashar told reporters on Friday. “Mortaza’s fitness is upon himself. I think, he will need to give a fitness test. There are few concerns about him because he played the World cup with injury,” he said.
“He has got some time to recover from that. I am hoping that he will be fit before the Sri Lanka series.”
Bashar also said that the selectors are not totally free of all concerns when it comes to picking the squad for the upcoming Sri Lanka tour as there are some injury issues, as well as question marks overs Shakib Al Hasan’s availability.
“Of course Mahmudullah has some injury concerns and Mushfiqur has some problems. But as far as we know that they will be able to play. But we haven’t got that report in our hand yet. I am hoping that we get everyone fit so that we can take everyone with us,” he said.
“No, we have discussed about this matter today. If we don’t get them ( Shakib & Liton ), who will be their replacement. Liton has asked for leave because he is getting married and may be Shakib asked for a leave earlier but that is not also confirmed yet,” he said.
“We are told to keep two options open and we have thought about that too. We haven’t got the final report yet. We are not sure about Shakib yet that whether he would make it or not. We have kept him as an option too,” he added.
Cricbuzz learnt that selectors are planning to call Taijul Islam from India representing BCB XI in the Dr. (Captain) K. Thimmappiah Memorial Tournament in Alur-2 (Golden Oval) in Begaluru, so that they can have a left-arm spinner if Shakib is not available. They are also toying with the option of including Imrul Kayes as the third opener in their 14-member squad or make room of Yasir Ali, who was included in the Ireland tri-nation series but did not get any chance.