Shakib returns to Bangladesh side, Mashrafe left out of West Indies series
Premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has made a comeback to Bangladesh's national set-up after being named in the preliminary squads for the upcoming home assignment against West Indies. Meanwhile, fellow veteran Mashrafe Mortaza has been left out of the ODI line-up despite being available for selection.
33-year-old Shakib returns to the fold after serving a one-year ban for failing to report approaches. He was previously the Test and T20I captain of Bangladesh but is now back in the team as an ordinary member.
Mashrafe's omission from the ODI unit sparks uncertainty about his future in international cricket as he stepped down from the captaincy role in the 50-over format following the Zimbabwe series in March.
Amidst rumours regarding his exit from cricket in the coronavirus-induced hiatus, Mashrafe recently produced a series of impressive performances for Gemcon Khulna including a five-wicket haul in the domestic Bangabandhu T20 Cup.
He remains the country's longest-serving captain and memorably led them to the quarter-finals of the 2015 World Cup.
"It was a tough decision for us but we have to accept the reality and move ahead," chief selector Minhajul Abedin said responding to questions over the absence of Mashrafe in the 24-man preliminary squad.
"It's a new beginning, and whoever comes in his place -- it's an opportunity for him," he added.
Two members of Bangladesh's Under-19 World Cup-winning team have earned maiden call-ups. Pacer Shoriful Islam and batsman Pervez Hossain both featured in the tournament's thrilling final against India that Bangladesh won by three wickets.
The West Indies touring party is scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on January 10 and will play three ODIs and two Tests. The visitors have announced depleted squads for the series with as many as 10 known players withdrawing from the tour due to coronavirus concerns.
The West Indies players and support staff will quarantine for seven days after their arrival.
Preliminary squad for ODIs: Tamim Iqbal (capt), Mominul Haque, Taskin Ahmed, Khaled Ahmed, Shakib Al Hasan, Hasan Mahmud, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mustafizur Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Mohammad Mithun, Taijul Islam, Liton Das, Nurul Hasan, Yasir Ali, Shadman Islam, Saif Hassan, Nayeem Hasan, Abu Jayed, Ebadot Hossain
Preliminary squad for Tests: Mominul Haque (capt), Taskin Ahmed, Tamim Iqbal, Khaled Ahmed, Shakib Al Hasan, Hasan Mahmud, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mustafizur Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Mohammad Mithun, Taijul Islam, Liton Das, Nurul Hasan, Yasir Ali, Shadman Islam, Saif Hassan, Nayeem Hasan, Abu Jayed, Ebadot Hossain