Shakib Al Hasan is back in charge for Bangladesh in T20Is, being named captain for the upcoming Asia Cup, New Zealand tri-series and the T20 World Cup.
The BCB made the announcement this afternoon, bringing to an end the uncertainty of the past couple of weeks, when Shakib was told by the board to choose between playing for Bangladesh or keeping his endorsement with a "betting company". Shakib had duly ended his deal with Betwinner News. It is understood that he is likely to be asked to stay on as a long-term captain in the format. He was appointed Test captain in June after Mominul Haque stepped down.
The BCB also announced a 17-member squad for the Asia Cup, which will be played in the UAE from August 27. Middle-order batter Sabbir Rahman, who last played a T20I in 2019, returns to the squad, while Mushfiqur Rahim, who was rested for the T20I series against Zimbabwe, is also back. While Litton Das misses out due to his hamstring injury, there was no place for Shoriful Islam, Munim Shahriar and Najmul Hossain Shanto.
Allrounder Mohammad Saifuddin returns though his recurring back problem remains a concern, while fast bowler Ebadot Hossain also earns a place. Nurul Hasan has been named in the squad despite a finger injury, but BCB said they are expecting an update on him on August 21.
While Sabbir did not have a great BPL season - where he made 109 runs in six matches - he scored 515 runs at 39.61 average in the Dhaka Premier League one-day tournament. He also caught the eye during the Bangladesh Tigers programme, where a number of fringe players are trained. Sabbir has been sent to the Caribbean to play one-day matches For Bangladesh A against West Indies A. He has played 44 T20Is so far, for 946 runs at an average of 24.89.
"We have seen him [Sabbir] in the domestic T20 side," selector Minhajul Abedin said. "We think he has the experience. We have sent him to play in the one-day series against West Indies A, to give him some game time."
Bangladesh had missed the initial deadline for naming the Asia Cup squad, while the board sorted out the Shakib sponsorship issue. Bangladesh will be one of six teams contesting the main round of the Asia Cup, along with India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and a qualifier. The identity of the qualifier will be known via a qualifying tournament that starts on August 20.
Yunus: 'We have asked Shakib to not commit such a mistake again'
Shakib was "misguided" into the deal with Betwinner and vowed not to repeat the "mistake", according to BCB's cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus. Shakib had met with the BCB high-ups, including board president Nazmul Hassan, in Dhaka earlier in the day.
"Shakib admitted his mistake (regarding Betwinner controversy), but he is important for us," Yunus said. "He is still our best player. We had already decided on Shakib being the captain earlier, so we are sticking to it. He thought it was an online news website. He felt he was misguided. He has said he has terminated the (Betwinner) contract. We are hopeful he will not repeat it again. We have asked him not to commit such a mistake again. We have ended the whole thing."
Nurul had taken over in T20Is from long-time white-ball captain Mahmudullah for Bangladesh's previous assignment, in Zimbabwe, before being sidelined by a fractured finger. Mosaddek Hossain then captained the team in the last of three T20Is in Zimbabwe, as Bangladesh went down 2-1.
The T20I tri-series in New Zealand, which also involves the hosts and Pakistan, starts on October 7 and will be Bangladesh's last chance to fine-tune for the T20 World Cup, which is set to be played in Australia in October-November.
Bangladesh's Asia Cup squad: Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Anamul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, Mahmudullah, Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Hasan Mahmud, Mustafizur Rahman, Nasum Ahmed, Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Ebadot Hossain, Parvez Hossain Emon, Nurul Hasan, Taskin Ahmed