'He batted at no.6 just like Dhoni has done for India': Bangladesh coach on team's T20 WC's squad snubbed star player
Shaken up by their dismal show in the just concluded Asia Cup tournament, Bangladesh cricket team management announced the squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in which they axed the former skipper Mahmudullah Riyad and recalled batsman Najmul Hossain.
Bangladesh's Asia Cup 2022's fiasco saw them losing to Afghanistan and eventual winners Sri Lanka in the group stage which highlighted the team's 20-over woes.
Mahmudullah's inclusion was under a cloud after a lacklustre 151 runs across his eight match appearances in 2022.
Former 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. Sriram however compared Mahmudullah with the legendary cricketer MS Dhoni. He said that the Bangladesh batter batted at no.6 just like Dhoni has done for India.
"It is never an easy conversation - he is the most-capped T20 player in Bangladesh," Sriram said was quoted as saying in ESPNcricinfo.
"I have utmost respect for him. I have to be the bad man to have the conversation. I think it (the conversation) went well.
"I think our cricket team needs to have a succession plan. I have always equated Mahmudullah with MS Dhoni with the role that he performs for the team. He batted at No. 6 just like Dhoni has done for India. He has finished off games. Dhoni cannot go on forever and ever, right?
"You need to have a succession plan for who (next). I think this was the right time to think of someone who can fill in Mahmudullah's big shoes. You need someone. Unless we start playing players in that role, we won't find them."
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 T20 World Cup gets underway in Australia on October 16 and Bangladesh will appear in Group 2 alongside India, Pakistan, South Africa and two qualifiers in the Super 12 stage.
Bangladesh's T20 World Cup Squad: 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.