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Uncapped Fazle Mahmud replaces Shakib Al Hasan for New Zealand tour

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Dhaka, Dec 8 (IANS) Uncapped Fazle Mahmud has replaced Shakib Al Hasan in Bangladesh’s Test squad for the New Zealand tour after the star all-rounder opted to skip the series citing personal reasons.

This is the left-handed batter’s maiden call-up to the Test squad, earned after a stellar showing in the recently concluded National Cricket League (NCL) in which the 33-year-old remained the leading scorer with 630 runs at an average of 60.30.

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Shakib, despite verbally communicating his unavailability to BCB, was included in the initial 18-member squad announced for the New Zealand tour. BCB, however, had later confirmed that it had accepted Shakib’s official leave application.

“We have accepted his request. We have been saying for a long time that we have no objection if a player wants to take a break or rest, but it has to be informed officially. The thing is, we want to be informed about such a decision in advance as it is difficult for us if it is informed suddenly. From January, if anyone wants a break, he has to inform us in advance so that we can prepare alternatives,” said BCB president Nazmul Hassan, as reported by ESPNcricinfo.

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Fazle, meanwhile, had featured in two ODIs for Bangladesh against Zimbabwe in 2018 but could not leave a mark as he was dismissed for ducks in both matches.

The Bangladesh team will leave for New Zealand in the early hours tomorrow for the series which is part of the 2021-2023 cycle of the ICC World Test Championship. The first Test will begin next year on January 1 in Tauranga while the last Test of the series will be held in Christchurch on January 9.

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Mominul Haque (Captain), Shadman Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Litton Kumer Das, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Yasir Ali Rabbi, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Jayed Chowdhury Rahi, Ebadot Hossain, Shoriful Islam, Syed Khaled Ahmed, Shohidul Islam, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Md Naim Sheikh, Fazle Rabbi Mahmud.

–IANS

inj/cs

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