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01 October 2023

Injured Mortaza out of Bangladesh's World Cup team


Bangladesh were on Wednesday forced to drop pace spearhead Mashrafe Mortaza for the World Cup due to lingering doubts over his fitness for next month's tournament.

The 27-year-old former captain, who sustained an injury in his right knee during a domestic match in December, was excluded from the 15-man squad for the showpiece event.

"There is little chance that Mortaza will be fit before the World Cup," chief selector Rafiqul Alam told AFP, adding that chief coach Jamie Siddons supported this assessment.

"Mortaza, however, has the chance to be included in the team later if he fully recovers and an opportunity arises."

Bangladesh are due to co-host the World Cup with India and Sri Lanka from February 19 to April 2.

Top order batsman Shahriar Nafees was included in the side after being ignored for the home series against Zimbabwe.

"Nafees has been in fantastic form in the ongoing domestic league, so he has been selected as a back-up opener," Alam said.

The squad, led by Shakib Al Hasan, also includes former captain Mohammad Ashraful, under whom Bangladesh won the cricket gold medal at the Asian Games in November.

Bangladesh are drawn with India, South Africa, England, West Indies, Ireland and Netherlands in the round-robin group B from which four teams will qualify for the quarter-finals.

Bangladesh take on India in the tournament opener in Dhaka on February 19.

Bangladesh squad:
Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Shahriar Nafees, Raqibul Hasan, Mohammad Ashraful, Mushfiqur Rahim, Naeem Islam, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Nazmul Hossain, Suhrawadi Shuvo.