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Bangladesh recall Mominul for Asia Cup

Updated September 08, 2018

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DHAKA: Bangladesh have added batsman Mominul Haque to their squad for the Asia Cup as backup to several players carrying injuries, selectors said on Friday.

“He is a top-order batsman, who can play as an opener or in [the] one-down position. So we thought his inclusion might be useful in the tournament,” said Habibul Bashar.Opener Tamim Iqbal has an issue with his finger while uncapped left-hander Nazmul Hossain hurt his left thumb during a recent training session.

“We are hopeful they will both play. But we thought Mominul might play just in case they feel any problem,” Bashar added.

But the Bangladesh Cricket Board insisted on playing him in the tournament, putting his surgery on hold until October when they host Zimbabwe.

Bangladesh are pool ‘B’ alongside Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in the six-nation Asia Cup, which will run from Sept 15-28 in the UAE.

The Tigers also have some fitness concerns regarding all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who was keen to skip the Asia Cup to have a surgery on a finger.

Shakib in a recent interview with the English-language Daily Star said that he is only 20-30 per cent fit, a statement that was quickly dismissed by Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes.

“I don’t believe he is 20-30 per cent fit. I think he is a lot fitter than that,” Rhodes said in Dhaka on Thursday.

“He is not fully fit. But if he plays anything like he played in the Caribbean, then that will be a massive asset to Bangladesh cricket,” Rhodes said.

Shakib scored 190 runs in three ODIs in the West Indies in July, playing a key role in Bangladesh’s 2-1 series win.

Mominul, who also can bowl left-arm spin, played the last of his 26 ODIs during the 2015 World Cup.

A Test regular, Mominul reminded selectors of his limited-overs prowess during Bangladesh A’s recent tour of Ireland, scoring 182 of 132 balls in one innings.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2018