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Najmul Hossain Shanto named Tigers' captain in all formats

Former captain Gazi Ashraf replaces Nannu as chief selector

February 13, 2024 00:00:00

Najmul Hossain Shanto has been appointed as Bangladesh's captain in all three formats. Shanto has been handed the reigns for a year, according to Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan, report agencies.

The news comes as a surprise at least in the T20 format, in which Shakib Al Hasan was set to lead till the upcoming T20 World Cup in June.

Shanto led impressively in the recent Tests against New Zealand, and also later during a white-ball tour of New Zealand. It is understood that the BCB had considered Shakib for the ODI captaincy, but the board went ahead with Shanto for the role after Shakib informed them of a condition in his eye that would rule him out of the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.

Shakib had announced before the World Cup last year that he would give up the ODI captaincy after the 50-over marquee event. He had also hinted that he was unlikely to continue in Tests but expressed his interest in leading the side during the T20 World Cup. Shakib had built an impressive T20 side in the last 12 months, notably winning against England.

Meanwhile, the BCB also announced Gazi Ashraf Hossain as the new chief selector of the senior men's side. Hannan Sarkar, a new selector, was also appointed. It means the end of Minhajul Abedin's time as chief selector after eight years. Habibul Bashar also exits as a selector.

Sports Minister and BCB President Nazmul Hasan made the announcement after the first BCB board meeting of the year on Monday.

"We discussed the appointment of the chief selector at length," Nazmul said. "Ultimately, we agreed on Gazi Ashraf. We considered several candidates, but Gazi Ashraf was our unanimous choice," said the minister.

Former Bangladesh opener Hanan Sarkar has joined the selection panel as a selector, bringing his experience in age-level cricket selection. Hannan boasts a distinguished career with 17 Tests, 20 ODIs, and over 4000 runs in first-class cricket.

The panel was completed by former Bangladeshi spinner Abdur Razzak, who was also a member of the last panel.

Gazi Ashraf's appointment is somewhat surprising, as he has not been prominently discussed for the position in recent times. A former batter, Gazi Ashraf captained the Bangladesh team in its first seven ODIs between 1986 and 1990 and is highly respected within the country's cricketing circles.

Minhajul Abedin Nannu, who became chief selector in June 2016, and Habibul Bashar have been removed from the selection panel. However, Nazmul confirmed they would be offered other positions within the BCB.

"The board appreciates the contributions of Minhajul and his panel," Nazmul said. "They have served with distinction, and we want to retain their expertise. We will appoint them to suitable positions in due course."

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