Shakib leaves for India to play against Afghanistan

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Sports desk: All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan left home for India on Thursday morning to lead Bangladesh against Afghanistan in the three-match T20I series to be held at Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium, Dehradun, India on June 3, 5 and 7.

Before leaving the country the all-rounder said, “Obviously all play to win. So do us. We will try to ply match by match. The 1st match is very important. If, we can make a good start, the momentum will favour us and the next two matches will be easy.”

“We will miss our best pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman, but I think it’s an opportunity for other to prove their skill and worth,” commented Shakib replying to a query.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) chief selector Minhajul Abedin also departed the country with Shakib.

“The pitch at Dehradun is almost unknown for both sides. It may be grassy and a bit bouncy. So both sides [Bangladesh and Afghanistan] have their advantage to utilise there,” said chief selector. He, however, informed that Bangladesh team practiced at the match venue on Wednesday.

Another star player of Bangladesh team Tamim Iqbal will join the team after his show in a T20I match as member of the ICC World XI against world champions West Indies at Lord’s on Thursday-night.

The match at Lord’s is to help raise funds for the restoration of five cricket stadia in the Caribbean that were damaged by hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.

The right-arm pace bowler Abul Hasan Raju, who replaced injured Mustafizur Rahman, will join team before the on Friday.

Courtney Walsh assigned as head coach for the series and left the country other members of Bangladesh team on May 29.

Bangladesh T20I squad: Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Mahmudullah Riyad (vice-captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Kumar Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Ariful Haque, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Nazmul Islam Apu, Abu Hider Rony, Rubel Hossain, Abu Jayed Chowdhury Rahi, Abul Hsan Raju.

Afghanistan T20I squad: Asghar Stanikzai (captain), Najeeb Tarakai, Usman Ghani, Mohammad Shahzad, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shenwari, Shafiqullah, Darwish Rasooli, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Gulbadin Naib, Karim Janat, Sharafuddin Ashraf, Shapoor Zadran and Aftab Alam.UNB

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