The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is planning to make the World Cup squad announcement today, which comes only one day before the team is slated to travel for Guwahati, India, in order to begin their 2023 ODI World Cup campaign there.
It would seem that the Bangladesh team management is concerned about two different matters, which is why they have been delaying the announcement of the Tigers’ World Cup selection.
Yesterday, Bangladesh’s head coach Chandika Hathurusingha arrived in the nation. At midnight, she met with Bangladesh’s captain Shakib Al Hasan and board president Nazmul Hassan Papon at the latter’s apartment.
Given that the meeting took place only one day before the BCB is set to unveil the World Cup team, it is reasonable to conclude that the topic of conversation was related to the very important occasion.
It was discovered that one of the two difficulties that had the management of the squad pondering was the possibility that veteran competitor Tamim Iqbal would be injured. When he fronted the media after the Tigers’ second one-day international match against New Zealand, in which the veteran recorded a strong 44-run knock, Tamim himself spoke about feeling uncomfortable and not being entirely fit. He also said that he had a sore back. It was the first time the left-handed opener has batted for Bangladesh in a game since he stepped down as skipper of the one-day international team in August.
Tamim was taken out of today’s third One-Day International match against New Zealand so that he could attend to his back issues.
Because of the nature of Tamim’s reoccurring back injury, it is possible that the ailment may reappear at any time, or that the pain will get much worse. Tamim’s ailment has been a significant source of worry for the team management, especially considering that the captain of the Bangladesh team and the head coach both reportedly desire a completely healthy roster for the World Cup.
The second issue that is causing the management of the squad to have sleepless nights is one that concerns Mahmudullah Riyad, who is a veteran player in the cricket scene in the nation. After an absence of more than five months, Riyad has rejoined the national team in order to participate in the present series against New Zealand. After the first one-day international (ODI) was rained out, he played a knock of 49 runs in the second game, which Bangladesh lost by 86 runs.
In order to include Riyad in Bangladesh’s World Cup team, important decisions would need to be made about his eligibility. Because of the severity of Tamim’s injury, it is quite probable that the backup opener Tanzid Hasan Tamim will be given the opportunity to start.
If Bangladesh decide to go into the tournament with only four pacers — Taskin Ahmed, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam, and Mustafizur Rahman — and exclude the inexperienced Tanzim Hasan Sakib despite his good performances in the previous games, Riyad might be selected in the final World Cup 15-man squad. This strategy might be problematic for the Tigers given the duration of the World Cup event, particularly since pacers are more likely to sustain injuries than other positions.
Riyad is another option that might be considered for inclusion in the team; however, all-rounder Mahedi Hasan has performed well in both the Asia Cup and the New Zealand series, so it is unlikely that he would be replaced.
However, given the current state of affairs, the management of the Bangladesh team seems to be facing some difficult choices. They will most likely need to make a decision very soon, considering that they are running out of time to meet the ICC-mandated deadline for submitting their final World Cup roster, which is on September 28.