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Gazi to make an early return to Bangladesh

Published: 
Sunday, August 31, 2014

Bangladesh offspinner Sohag Gazi will return to Dhaka with the limited-overs contingent, skipping the three-day practice match against St Kitts & Nevis. The BCB wants him to apply early for the UK visa as he has to go to the Cardiff Metropolitan University to have his action tested by September 19.

The original plan was to keep him in the West Indies at least till the first Test but the BCB are not going to take a chance with any delay in his visa application. But now he will take the flight out of Basseterre with the limited-overs contingent which includes Mashrafe Mortaza, Taskin Ahmed, Abdur Razzak and Mohammad Mithun (although the BCB press release on August 22 announcing the Test replacements did not include his name). The replacements—Taijul Islam, Shafiul Islam, Shuvagata Hom and Robiul Islam—have arrived in the West Indies already.

“Initially we wanted him to play the first Test and then return home to apply for the UK visa,” chief selector Faruque Ahmed said. “But it takes a lot of time to get the visa, so the board doesn't want to take any chance. He will come back with the ODI players in a day or two.”

Without Sohag, uncapped left-arm spinner Taijul Islam is the only specialist spinner in the Test squad, apart from allrounders Mahmudullah and Shuvagata Hom. It was learned that the selectors are satisfied with Shuvagata's bowling abilities. They are mainly considering pace bowling allrounder Muktar Ali and left-arm spinner Elias Sunny, both having toured the Caribbean in May this year for Bangladesh A.

Legspinner Jubair Ahmed has also popped into the discussion despite having never played first-class cricket. He was part of the preliminary squad that trained ahead of the West Indies tour. It is likely that Jubair will be picked against Zimbabwe A next month.