Mominul awaits ODI lifeline

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Mominul in T20 squad for South Africa series
Mominul in T20 squad for South Africa series

Mominul Haque could make a dramatic return to Bangladesh one-day international squad provided Sakib al Hasan decided to undergo surgery on his injured finger before the upcoming Asia Cup, said selectors and cricket insiders.
Cricket officials had been debating over exactly when Sakib should go under the knife but chief selector Minhajul Abedin said they were already working about a possible replacement for the all-rounder.
‘If Sakib decides to skip the Asia Cup, yes, definitely Mominul has a chance,’ said Minhajul. ‘He is already in our plan for the next World Cup. So we may bring him to the squad any time during the upcoming series, if not in the Asia Cup,’ he said.
Mominul’s ODI career began ironically as a replacement of Sakib in 2012 when the all-rounder injured his shinbone during a series against West Indies at home.
He played most of the matches in the next two-and-a-half years before his ODI career came to a shuddering halt in World Cup 2015 after he made just four runs in the first two matches.
In the next three years he was never considered as one-day material by the then coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, who somehow developed a disliking for the 26-year old left-handed batsman.
Mominul’s hopes returned for ODI berth after Hathurusinghe left late last year and selectors gave him a chance to revive his career by including him in the Ireland-bound Bangladesh A team as captain.
Mominul excelled in the five-match series, which ended as 2-2, as he struck 297 runs at 74.25 average in four innings.
His exploits include a match-winning innings of 182 off 133 balls – the highest ever score by a Bangladeshi in the List A match outside home – which improved his credential as limited over batsman.
The innings, however, did not guarantee Mominul a spot in the national team as chief selector Minhajul said they still had few things to consider.
A lot will depend on the reports of selector Habibul Bashar, who is currently visiting Ireland with the A team, according to Minhajul.
‘We have to see how Suman [Bashar] feels about him. After that, we will decide about him [Mominul],’ he said.
Minhajul said they have a few other batsmen under consideration for the Asia Cup, scheduled in UAE from September 15 to 28.
The prospective candidates include batsmen Nazmul Hasan Shanto and Fazle Rabbi, who are both currently travelling with the A team in Ireland.
Nazmul, who was yet to make his ODI debut, scored 53 runs in two matches in Ireland while left-handed opener Rabbi scored 136 runs in three innings, including two fifties, apart from taking four wickets.
Before starting their crucial World Cup season, Bangladesh still have few spots unsettled in ODIs with Anamul Haque failing miserably as opener in West Indies while Sabbir Rahman also has a lingering bad-patch.
Minhajul said they might consider Mominul for any of these slots even if Sakib decided to play the Asia Cup.

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