NZ series left to one selectorAzad Majumder
There will only be one national selector available during the Tigers’ home series against New Zealand, as the contracts of the current selection panel, headed by former national team captain Akram Khan, expire on September 30.
Chief selector Akram is looking to run in the forthcoming Bangladesh Cricket Board election and has become a councillor from Chittagong Division to do so, making it unlikely that he will seek to extend his contract as a selector.
The two other selectors on the three-member panel, former national skipper Habibul Bashar and Minhajul Abedin, are both likely to get extensions from the BCB to complete the necessary activities for next month’s series, but the latter has decided to perform Hajj this October and will likely be absent during team selection.
This means Bashar will have to shoulder the responsibility by himself, though he will have national captain Mushfiqur Rahim and head coach Shane Jurgensen to seek opinions from.
Out-going chief selector Akram said they will meet soon to finalize a 30-member preliminary squad from which the team for each format would be selected.
‘I think it would be hard for Sumon [Bashar] to handle everything on his own for the upcoming home series,’ said Akram.
‘Though he can always take the advice of the national captain and the coach, I am still open to giving him suggestions regarding the team selection for the home series,’ he added.
Mushfiq and Jurgensen have no voting power in the selection panel, while Akram will also lose his voting power once his present term ends at the end of the month.
Bashar will therefore have to make selection decisions alone, irrespective of the suggestions he gets from the out-going chief selector and others.
This is a unique situation unheard of in any other countries, where there are always selection panels in place.
Bangladesh will play two Tests, three One-Day Internationals and a Twenty20 International against New Zealand, a series which is crucial for Bangladesh in many contexts.
The Tigers recently fell behind Zimbabwe in the Test rankings and are currently behind Ireland in the Twenty20 rankings. Though their ninth place ODI ranking is stable, any slip against the Kiwis will surely take its toll.
Bangladesh beat New Zealand 4-0 in the One-Day series during their previous visit now have a responsibility to prove that the result was not a fluke, but rather a sign of their gradual improvement.
New Zealand, who also have some points to prove, will arrive on October 1 for their five-week visit, which also includes a warm-up match against a selection side before the first Test in Chittagong.
Bashar will also be charged with selecting the selection side, which should feature several players expected to fight for a Test spot.
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