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Food for thought for nat̢۪l selectors

Staff Correspondent

The just-concluded Challenge Cup Twenty20 series provided the national selectors some food for thought ahead of the busy international schedule with some experienced players pushing for a comeback in a few unsettled positions.
Opening batsman Imrul Kayes showed he has still some cricket left in him while all-rounder Farhad Reza raised his stake to return to the side after an impressive Dhaka Premier League in which he led newcomers Prime Doleshwar to a respectable third place. 
With Tamim Iqbal suffering from one after another freakish injury and Anamul Haque struggling to find his feet in all three formats, the selectors are desperately looking for someone, who can give the side some much-needed stability.
Imrul accumulated 655 runs at an average of 43.27 in the DPL to be the second highest scorer in the competition, which forced the selectors to think of him again after two years of wilderness.
Imrul, who played two match-winning knocks in the World Cup 2011, has not played for the Tigers since December 2011, but he looks now quite different in his mental attitude.
His gameplan appeared bold, which is another reason that made him a contender for a national team place again.
He is not afraid to go after the bowlers and it was evident in the Challenge Cup, a tournament which he began with a towering six over the head of experienced Mashrafee bin Murtaza.
On the other hand, Anamul Haque had been a mere shadow of his former self this season, both in international and domestic matches, and hardly could deliver anything after a promising start to his international career with a century against West Indies in his second ODI.
In three Test matches he scored just 64 runs and after that hundred in Khulna he could not reach a fifty in any of his next seven matches. He scored 22 in his only Twenty20 International.
This season Anamul scored just 146 runs in seven games for Victoria Sporting Club with only one half-century and made just 82 runs in three innings for the national team in the Challenge Cup.
Selectors were forced to drop him for the third New Zealand ODI after his footwork became a subject of mockery and Shamsur Rahman grabbed the chance with both hands to play a match-winning innings at Fatullah. 
With Shamsur still remaining in the mix and Imrul pushing for a comeback, the immediate future of Anamul’s international career appears bleak as Tamim is also on the verge of regaining his full fitness. 
All-rounder Ziaur Rahman had been pretty ordinary in the league, making it obvious for the national selectors to think twice before picking him as he could neither manage to tear the bowlers of the opponents apart nor could pick up wickets at regular intervals.
Zia made just 224 runs in 14 matches in the DPL and picked up 11 wickets while, he scored 37 runs and failed to make any contribution with the cherry in the two games he played in the Challenge Cup.
Farhad, on the other hand, took 29 wickets to be the joint highest wicket-taker in the DPL and scored 194 runs while in the Challenge Cup bowled economically giving away just 68 runs in his eight overs and scored 24 runs in the only time he batted.
New chief selector Faruk Ahmed said he is keeping track of the national players’ performance and was happy to see some old guards making a notable contribution.
‘It is always nice to see any experienced player making some contribution as they have the wealth of experience behind them,’ Faruk told New Age as he began his second stint as the chief selector.
‘Certainly there are several spots and we are looking forward to making a very balanced side,’ said Faruk after his first meeting with the co-selectors on Sunday.
The selection committee is currently working to make a list of 60 players, who are expected to feature in a Twenty20 tournament, to be held in Cox’s Bazar or in Dhaka, as the possibility of the National Cricket League is very slim because of the present political unrest in the country. 

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