- Bangladesh cricket faces potential leadership changes after the 2023 World Cup.
- Shakib Al Hasan’s captaincy and playing future remain uncertain.
- Litton Das’s captaincy and focus during the World Cup raise concerns.
Bangladesh cricket is on the cusp of a significant transformation in the aftermath of their disappointing 2023 World Cup campaign. The changes on the horizon encompass a potential alteration in the captaincy for the upcoming Test series against New Zealand and the uncertain future of Shakib Al Hasan. Although Shakib had declared his intention to step down as ODI captain after the World Cup in a pre-tournament interview, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) does not consider it official.
Jalal Yunus, the BCB’s cricket operations chairman, expressed that Shakib had not formally informed them about relinquishing the captaincy before the World Cup. They regarded his statements in the interview as unofficial.
Shakib, who also serves as Bangladesh’s Test captain, was forced to exit the World Cup due to a finger injury sustained while batting against Sri Lanka. Consequently, he will be absent for the two home Tests against New Zealand.
The BCB aims for a strong lineup in these Tests, which mark the beginning of Bangladesh’s World Test Championship cycle for 2023-25. However, Litton Das is not their preferred choice for captaincy. Litton faced criticism from the board for taking two breaks during the World Cup. Although these breaks were granted on humanitarian grounds, influential BCB directors believe that Litton’s focus wavered during the tournament.
This leaves Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mehidy Hasan Miraz as potential candidates for the captaincy. Shanto, who previously led the team when Shakib was sidelined due to injury, is set to serve as captain for the final match against Australia on November 11.
Shakib’s future in both Tests and ODIs is subject to discussions with the BCB. Before the World Cup, he had even hinted at his retirement plans, suggesting he would announce his retirement “after the 2025 Champions Trophy.”
Furthermore, there is uncertainty surrounding Tamim Iqbal’s future in the Test side. His absence during the World Cup due to back concerns, along with no participation in the National Cricket League, Bangladesh’s premier first-class competition, has raised questions.
With the potential absence of Shakib and Tamim against New Zealand, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mominul Haque remain as the only experienced batters. The availability of the bowling unit will depend on their fitness updates post-World Cup, leaving the Bangladesh cricket landscape in a state of transition.
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