Dhaka: Bangladesh on Wednesday axed former cricket captain Mahmudullah Riyad and recalled batsman Najmul Hossain in a shake-up to its struggling Twenty20 squad ahead of next month’s World Cup in Australia.
This month’s disappointing Asia Cup campaign highlighted the team’s 20-over woes, with Bangladesh turfed out in the group stage after losing to Afghanistan and eventual winners Sri Lanka.
Mahmudullah’s inclusion was under a cloud after a lacklustre 151 runs across his eight match appearances in 2022.
Indian cricketer Sridharan Sriram, appointed last month as the team’s T20 consultant, said it was time for the team to think of its future beyond the 36-year-old.
“I think this was the right time for all of us to come together and think of… who can fill in the big shoes of Mahmudullah,” he said.
Chief selector Minhajul Abedin hailed Mahmudullah’s record but added that the decision to omit the all-rounder from the squad was unanimous.
“We have respect for Mahmudullah who has played well for the national team,” he said.
“We haven’t been doing well in this format,” Minhajul added. “Our T20 consultant has given us a one-year plan, which will take us in a different direction. We have gone with this plan.”
Najmul returns after he was left out of contention during the Asia Cup campaign while Liton Das, Nurul Hasan and Yasir Ali have recovered from injury.
Bangladesh will also be without the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim, who retired earlier this month.
The World Cup gets under way in Australia on October 16 and Bangladesh will appear in Group 2 alongside India, Pakistan, South Africa and two qualifiers.
The squad named on Wednesday will travel to New Zealand beforehand to take part in next month’s tri-nation tournament alongside Pakistan.
Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Liton Das, Yasir Ali, Nurul Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Saifuddin, Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain, Hasan Mahmud, Nasum Ahmed, Najmul Hossain.