Bangla bring back Veterans for World Cup campaign

Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Dhaka:Bangladesh's selectors opted for experience by recalling three seasoned cricketers in their 15-man squad for next month's World Cup in the Caribbean.

Veteran opener Javed Omar, middle-order batsman Rajin Saleh and left-arm seamer Syed Rasel were named in the squad, chief selector Faruq Ahmed told reporters Tuesday.

"Both Javed and Rajin had good domestic seasons. They are also seasoned campaigners. We think this is the best combination we have for the World Cup," he said.

"We also picked Rasel, despite the fact that he has lost pace in recent times. He is an experienced bowler and can swing the ball."

Omar, 30, came in place of Mehrab Hossain, who played the last two series against Zimbabwe.

The selectors also replaced middle-order batsman Tushar Imran with Saleh, who booked his berth after scoring two centuries in the local Dhaka league.

"Besides his experience, Saleh can play as a makeshift opener," said Ahmed.

Ahmed also defended the selection of 17-year-old opening batsman Tamim Iqbal, who has played just two one-dayers.

"He may be short of international matches but he has been in superb form. He has already scored 400 runs (in domestic cricket) and on any given day can surprise any team with his hard-hitting batting," the chief selector said.

Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore said he was happy with the squad.

"Yes, this is the best possible team for the World Cup. We have picked the best combination," Whatmore said, adding the team had a good chance to advance to the second round.

Bangladesh are up against former champions India and Sri Lanka, and debutants Bermuda in group B of the preliminary league. The top two sides will advance to the second round.

Bangladesh have won just two of their 11 World Cup matches since making their Cup debut in 1999 in England.

The Squad:

Habibul Bashar (capt), Shahriar Nafees, Tamim Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed, Saqibul Hasan, Mohammad Ashraful, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mohammad Rafique, Abdur Razzak, Mashrafe Mortaza, Shahadat Hossain, Tapash Baisya, Syed Rasel, Rajin Saleh and Javed Omar. Coach: Dav Whatmore


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