The national selection committee will reduce the size of the skill training squad for the upcoming tour of Zimbabwe.
“It will be a 22 to 23-member squad because practically it’s not possible to accommodate so many players for the skill training,” informed chief selector Akram Khan yesterday.
The selectors had earlier announced a 32-member squad for the pre-conditioning camp, which will end tomorrow. The national cricketers will return to the capital tomorrow from Cox’s Bazar after their last bout of the fitness training which is being conducted by trainer Grant Luden.
The batting, bowling and fielding practice will be overseen by local coach Sarwar Imran as it is yet not confirmed when the newly appointed head coach Stuart Law will join the team.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is likely to announce the 15-member final squad within the first week of July for the tour of Zimbabwe where the Tigers will play a Test and five one-day internationals.
Apart from the 18 BCB-contracted cricketers, the new selection panel had included domestic performers as well as those who have done well for the GP-BCB National Cricket Academy when they picked the squad for the pre-conditioning camp.
But there is hardly any chance that any domestic performer will get the nod when the selectors pick the final squad, as the new committee is not in favour of making any major changes in the team which has been playing for the last two years.
It will however not be an easy task for the Akram Khan-led committee to decide on the number four and seven batting positions, which were the most vulnerable over the last few years. The selection or non-selection of former skipper Mohammad Ashraful will also be another major issue.
The selectors are also in a spot of bother with the shortage of pace bowlers at their disposal. Young Shafiul Islam and Rubel Hossain have been operating with the new ball in absence of the injured Mashrafe Bin Mortaza for the Tigers’ last couple of assignments, but it would be a hard task for the selectors to choose the third seamer. Considering the conditions in Zimbabwe, Bangladesh will not completely rely on their slow bowlers and they may need to play a third seamer. This means that Shahadat Hossain has a good chance of making the squad.
“We have some problems as there is not enough players in the pipeline and that’s the reason we are concentrating on the Academy team and the A team. I’m confident that we will be able to make a good team for the Zimbabwe tour,” hoped Akram.
-With The Daily Star input