SHAKIB BACK FOR TIGERS

PROVEN match-winner, Shakib Al Hasan is back in Bangladesh’s T20I side after almost a year and will be available for selection in the remaining T20 Internationals against Zimbabwe tomorrow and Sunday. 

Bangladesh, who clinched the five-match series on Wednesday following a nine-run victory to take an unassailable 3-0 lead, are now targeting a series whitewash as they prepare for the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup tournament in the Caribbean and United States.

Shakib has been named in the squad for the final two matches against Zimbabwe in Dhaka. Also returning are Soumya Sarkar and Mustafizur Rahman, as the home side look to continue their winning ways after taking a 3-0 lead in Chattogram.

Those making way for this trio are Parvez Hossain Emon and Afif Hossain while fast bowler Shoriful Islam has been rested. Shoriful played the first two T20Is while Parvez and Afif missed all three games.

Shakib was Bangladesh’s captain when he last played T20Is, his last appearance a Player-of-the-Match performance against Afghanistan in Sylhet in July 2023. He was building the team towards this year’s T20 World Cup, but an eye condition and a finger injury restricted his appearances after the ODI World Cup in October-November 2023. Najmul Hossain Shanto has replaced him as captain in all formats this year.

Mustafizur is back after a period of rest following his return from the IPL, where he was a solid performer with the ball for Chennai Super Kings. Soumya is returning from the knee injury he sustained during the third ODI against Sri Lanka on March 18.

The final two T20Is could go some way towards helping the selectors finalise Bangladesh’s T20 World Cup squad, which according to reports is to be announced on May 13, the day after the last T20I in Dhaka.

Bangladesh squad: Najmul Hossain Shanto (capt), Litton Das, Tanzid Hasan, Shakib Al Hasan, Towhid Hridoy, Mahmudullah, Jaker Ali, Mahedi Hasan, Rishad Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Tanzim Hasan Sakib, Soumya Sarkar, Tanvir Islam, Mohammad Saifuddin. – SEPNCricInfo/Sports Reporter.

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