A 21-member Bangladesh preliminary test squad left the capital for Sri Lanka on Monday by a chartered flight of Bangladesh Biman to play a two- match test series against the Island nation.
Earlier, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced the 21-member preliminary squad including three new faces for the Test series, a part of World Test Championship.
Three vital players of Bangladesh team--world famed all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, cutter master Mustafizur Rahman and all-rounder Mahmufullah Riyad---missed trip and the first two for their IPL engagement.
On the eve of the departure, Bangladesh team leader Khaled Mahmud Shujon said, "Bangladesh have the capacity to beat Sri Lanka as their wicket and local condition is very familiar to us,” reports UNB.
Earlier on Sunday, Bangladesh Test captain Mominul Haque said they are confident of winning the two-match series in Sri Lanka even without the service of Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman who are busy playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals respectively.
Shakib and Mustafizur would have been Bangladesh’s biggest weapons in the Sri Lanka tour. But the Tigers are set to miss their service as both of them were allowed to skip this tour for IPL. Despite their absence, Mominul believes that Bangladesh has the ability to outplay Sri Lanka.
“I don’t think we cannot win without Shakib and Mustafizur,” Mominul told the reporters on Sunday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium after a practice session.
“We have more players in our team. They don’t have 10-12 hands (to play better than others). We also don’t have many hands. I don’t think their absence will make any influence. We couldn’t come up as a team in recent time and that’s why we have been failing to bring the result to tour favour. This is as simple as it.”
After reaching the Sri Lanka Monday afternoon, Bangladesh team will be taken to Negombo for a three-day room quarantine from Apr 12-14.
Due to the current Covid-19 situation, Bangladesh team will have to practice and to play practice match among themselves and for that reason, the BCB has decided carry all the 21 cricketers to Sri Lanka.
However, the final squad of Bangladesh for the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka will be announced after an intra-squad practice game between them scheduled for April 17-18.
A large 41 members Bangladesh team including 21 cricketers, coaches, supporting staffs, newly appointed Deputy Manager of BCB Cricket Operations and former national opener Shahriar Nafees and other BCB officials accompanied the team to Sri Lanka.
The series will begin on April 21 with the first Test, and the second and final Test will start on April 29, both will be played at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.
For the two- match series, BCB included three uncapped pace-bowlers --Shohidul Islam, Shoriful Islam and Mukidul Islam Mugdho-- while old guy Shuvagata Hom made a surprise comeback to the Test set-up after a gap of four years.
The 21-member preliminary Test team of Bangladesh for the Sri Lanka tour:
Mominul Haque (Captain), Litton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, Shadman Islam, Abu Jayed Rahi, Taijul Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain, Saif Hassan, Yasir Ali, Shoriful Islam, Khaled Ahmed, Mukidul Islam Mugdho, Shuvagata Hom, Shohidul Islam and Nurul