Bangladesh have picked Under-19 offspinner Nayeem Hasan in the 14-man squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka. Seventeen-year old Nayeem is currently playing the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand. His inclusion comes as a big surprise since Nayeem has played only four first-class matches and hasn’t been mentioned in any selection conversations in the last few months.
Chief selector Minhajul Abedin said that Nayeem will be returning from New Zealand to join the Test squad.
“Nayeem is a talented bowler and since we wanted an additional offspinner, we picked him,” Minhajul told ESPNcricinfo. “He is a good option. He is coming back from New Zealand since we lost to India today.”
The squad sees other major changes too. Shakib Al Hasan returned as captain after he was rested for the South Africa Tests last year while Mosaddek Hossain and Kamrul Islam were also recalled. Mosaddek was recovering slowly from an eye condition but he scored a century in the Bangladesh Cricket League first-class competition last week.
The selectors dropped Subashis Roy, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Shafiul Islam and Taskin Ahmed. The three pace bowlers hardly made an impact in South Africa or in first-class matches recently. Soumya, too, hasn’t made many runs after being dropped from the ODI squad for poor form in South Africa.
Sabbir has also been batting poorly in the ODIs and was guilty of throwing his wickets away in the Tests in South Africa.