Preview: Return of International cricket in Bangladesh hours away
Mark the date: January 20, 2021. International cricket is finally coming to action in Bangladesh after ten months with the first ODI against West Indies. The match will be played behind closed doors at Shere Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Mirpur.
Bangabandhu T20 Cup in November-December was the last cricketing event in the country.
The three-match series is a part of Cricket World Cup Super League 2020-23. 30 points are at stake as both teams will look to get on board.
Since 2018, Bangladesh and West Indies have faced ten times in ODIs. Bangladesh emerged winners in eight of them including an ongoing streak of five. The last meeting was at Taunton during the 2019 World Cup, where Bangladesh chased down 322. Thanks to 124* from Shakib Al Hasan, who was accompanied by Liton Das’ 94*.
Wednesday’s match will mark the return of Shakib, who was suspended by the ICC for a year.
Recent form does not speak for West Indies, who were whitewashed 0-3 by Sri Lanka in February-March 2020 which included two close defeats.
Bangladesh completed a 3-0 sweep over Zimbabwe during at the same time when Mashrafe Bin Mortaza played his last series as captain.
Bangladesh selectors did not include Mashrafe in the preliminary squad for this series. The final squad includes six pacers: Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mohammad Saifuddin, and two new faces Hasan Mahmud and Shoriful Islam.
Jason Mohammed will lead an inexperienced West Indian side. The current squad includes only five out of 14 players to have experienced at least an ODI. This means as many as six players from West Indian contingent are expected to debut.
Bangladesh will go ahead with three seamers and two spinners on a sporting Mirpur pitch. The duo of Shakib and Mehidy Hasan Miraz will return while Hasan Mahmud is likely to make ODI debut. Najmul Hossain Shanto will be batting at number three after Shakib was given a new role at four. Soumya Sarkar, who usually bats at the top, will bat at seven.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal (captain), Liton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah Riyad, Soumya Sarkar, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud
West Indies: Sunil Ambris, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Jason Mohammed (captain), Andre McCarthy, Rovman Powell, Raymon Reifer, Kyle Mayers, Nkrumah Bonner, Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Akeal Hosein
The match begins at 11:30 am (Bangladesh Standard Time).