B’desh name Shakib captain for Zimbabwe series

Dhaka: Bangladesh on Sunday named Shakib Al Hasan, the world’s top ranked limited-overs allrounder, as captain for the upcoming one-day series against Zimbabwe.

Shakib led Bangladesh to a historic 4-0 whitewash of New Zealand as stand-in one-day skipper last month after regular captain Mashrafe Mortaza sprained his ankle in the first match and was ruled out of the series.

“Mashrafe is now fit and has been included in the side. But the board has decided to give the captaincy to Shakib Al Hasan for the Zimbabwe series,” Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Rabeed Imam said.

Shakib, who heads the International Cricket Council’s one-day all-rounder standings, now looks likely to lead co-host Bangladesh in the 2011 Cricket World Cup to be held in February-March.

Shakib was adjudged man of the series for his all-round performance against the Kiwis. As a stand-in captain, the 23-year-old also led the minnows to a 2-0 Test clean sweep against the West Indies last year.

The board also announced a 15-man team for the five-match one-day series against Zimbabwe beginning in Dhaka later this next week.

Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal, the Wisden Cricketer magazine’s Test player of the year for 2010, and Mohammad Ashraful return after missing the home series against New Zealand.

“Tamim has fully recovered from wrist injury. Ashraful finds a place after his stellar performance in national cricket,” said Imam.

Middle-order batsman Ashraful also led a second-string Bangladesh cricket team to the country’s first ever gold in Asian Games on Friday.

The squad: Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Mashrafe Mortaza, Tamim Iqbal Khan, Imrul Kayes, Junaed Siddique, Mohammad Ashraful, Raqibul Hassan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Mahmudullah, Naeem Islam, Abdur Razzak, Mohammad Suhrawadi, Shafiul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Nazmul Hossain.


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