Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan likely to make T20I return against Zimbabwe

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Shakib Al Hasan

Shakib Al Hasan could play in Bangladesh’s T20I series against Zimbabwe next month, according to chief selector Gazi Ashraf Hossain.

He might also feature in a couple of Dhaka Premier League matches as part of his return to white-ball cricket

“We have communicated with him [Shakib],” Ashraf said. “He is expected to arrive in Dhaka at the end of this month. He will possibly play one or two DPL matches. Afterwards, he will get involved with the team management. There he can do his training on cricketing skill as per the desire of team management. We will definitely want him to play couple of matches in the series. We will announce the team on April 28 and by that time, you will get a clear picture of his availability.”

Shakib had been on a break due to an eye condition and a finger injury after the 2023 ODI World Cup ended last November and returned to international cricket in the Chattogram Test against Sri Lanka earlier this month.

On Tuesday, Bangladesh announced a 17-man preparatory squad that will train for three days in Chattogram from April 26. The group doesn’t include Shakib or Mustafizur Rahman, who is playing for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL until May 1. Ashraf said that Mustafizur would also miss the first T20I against Zimbabwe on May 3 in Chattogram.

The training squad includes Mohammad Saifuddin, who returns after a long injury layoff. He last played for Bangladesh shortly before the 2022 T20 World Cup and returned to action in this season’s BPL, where he was part of Fortune Barishal’s title-winning squad.

“Definitely (Mohammad) Saifuddin is a promising player and if he is not injured he could have more international experience,” Ashraf said. “He is ahead with his batting but in bowling he has competitors. So it a good opportunity for him to get back into his groove in the Zimbabwe series because we have lot of interest in him.”

Bangladesh play the first three T20Is against Zimbabwe in Chattogram on May 3, 5 and 7, and the last two T20Is in Dhaka on May 10 and 12.

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