DHAKA: Bangladesh on Friday called up 17-year old rookie off-spinner Naeem Hasan for the opening match of a two-Test series against Sri Lanka next week.
Selectors said they opted for the uncapped off-spinner to counter Sri Lanka’s left handers in the squad.
“Team management felt we might need another off-spinner” to complement Mehedi Hasan, selector Habibul Bashar told AFP.
“At the moment Naeem is the best possible option, especially if we think of a specialised bowler.”
Naeem has played only four first-class matches and claimed nine wickets.
Batsman Sabbir Rahman was dropped after a poor run in the ongoing tri-nation one-day series with Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
Soumya Sarkar, Taskin Ahmed, Subashis Roy and Shafiul Islam, who were left out of the one-day series, were also overlooked for the Test squad.
“Sabbir could not fulfil our expectations in recent matches. We thought of Soumya, but he could not score enough runs in his last six innings in first-class cricket,” he said.
Middle-order batsman Mosaddek Hossain and pace bowler Kamrul Islam were recalled to the side, as was Shakib Al Hasan.
The all-rounder replaces Mushfiqur Rahim as captain. Rahim was axed after Bangladesh was resoundingly thumped in both Test matches against the Proteas.
Shakib’s second chance at skipper starts January 31 with the Test opener against Sri Lanka in Chittagong.
The second Test is in Dhaka starting February 8.
Sri Lanka, who face Bangladesh in the tri-nation final on Saturday, will also play two Twenty20 internationals against the hosts.
Squad: Shakib Al Hasan (Capt), Mahmudullah Riyad, Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mosaddek Hossain, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Kamrul Islam, Mehedi Hasan, Rubel Hossain, and Naeem Hasan. —AFP