Bangladesh will have the services of their veteran all-rounder and captain Shakib al Hasan for their opening match of the 2023 World Cup on October 7th against Afghanistan in Dharamshala. Najmul Hossain Shanto, the stand-in captain, for the ongoing warm-up match against England in Guwahati confirmed the encouraging piece of news.
Shakib suffered a foot injury while playing football during a practice session ahead of the warm-up game against Sri Lanka, forcing Mehidy Hasan Miraz to step in as captain. Despite the 36-year-old's absence, the Tigers romped home with minimum fuss, blazing down the target of 264 in 42 overs.
The spin-bowling all-rounder will inevitably be decisive to Bangladesh's chances in the showpiece tournament, given he is the country's highest run-getter in World Cup history with 1146 runs in 29 fixtures and their highest wicket-taker with 34.
The Tigers have had a patchy build-up to the tournament, enduring a group-stage exit in the Asia Cup 2023, but finished with a narrow six-run victory over eventual champions India. Later, a second-string Bangladesh side also lost the three-game ODI series to New Zealand on home soil.
Bangladesh's squad for 2023 World Cup:
Shakib Al Hasan (c), Litton Kumer Das, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Najmul Hossain Shanto (vc), Tawhid Hridoy, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nasum Ahmed, Shak Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan Sakib.