London: Right-hand batsman Sabbir Rahman, who was serving a six-month ban for abusing a fan on social media, has been selected in Bangladesh team for their upcoming three-match ODI series against New Zealand after Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) reduced his suspension by one month.
Bangladesh chief selector Minhajul Abedin stated that Rahman was included in the team on the request of ODI skipper Mashrafe Mortaza.
“Let me make one thing clear: he is totally the captain’s choice. He was very insistent about Sabbir. We agreed with him. They want someone who can handle fast bowling lower down the order. He has been picked with the New Zealand series and World Cup in mind. The captain is quite confident about him. I am also hopeful that he can return well,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Abedin, as saying.
“He has performed in the past and has been playing domestic cricket. BPL is an international-standard tournament with a lot of overseas players so we can take his performance there seriously. The selectors have to go with the captain and team management’s plan,” he added.
When quizzed about Rahman’s punishment, the chief selector confirmed that the batsman was made available from January 31 and the decision was taken with the consent of BCB president Nazmul Hassan.
“It is a matter of the disciplinary committee. He was made available from January 31. You [the media] were not informed but his punishment was reduced by a month,” the chief selector said.
“We knew about it before selecting the team. The selection requires the signature of the board president so we can’t just select him without clearance,” he added.
Other inclusions in the team for the New Zealand series came in the form of pacer Taskin Ahmed, who is returning the ODI squad almost after a year, and off-break bowler Nayeem Hasan who has got his maiden one-day call.
Bangladesh and New Zealand are slated to play a three-match ODI series which is slated to be held from February 13.
Following is the full Bangladesh squad for the New Zealand ODI series:
Mashrafe Mortaza (Captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun, Mohammad Saifuddin, Nayeem Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Sabbir Rahman.