Bangladesh face possible all-round overhaul after forgettable World Cup

Bangladesh face possible all-round overhaul after forgettable World Cup

Bangladesh cricket faces a possible comprehensive overhaul in the weeks following its forgettable 2023 World Cup campaign, from a new captain for the upcoming Test series against New Zealand to Shakib Al Hasan having to take a call over Her future. Although Shakib had announced in a pre-World Cup interview that he would step down from the ODI captaincy after the World Cup, the BCB is not taking it as an official word.

“He had not informed us about his departure from the captaincy before the World Cup. We believed that [the interview] “It was not official,” said Jalal Yunus, BCB president of cricket operations.

Shakib, who is also Bangladesh’s Test captain, was ruled out for the rest of the World Cup due to a broken finger he suffered while batting against Sri Lanka. As a result of that injury, he will also miss both home Tests against New Zealand.

The BCB is interested in fielding a full squad for those Tests (the series kicks off Bangladesh’s World Test Championship cycle for 2023-25) but is not inclined to name Litton Das as captain. In fact, the board seems unhappy with Litton, who took two breaks while the World Cup was being played.

He had first returned home to Dhaka a day after Bangladesh played Pakistan in Kolkata on October 31, before doing the same after Sri Lanka’s match in Delhi on November 6. Litton was back in Pune, venue of Bangladesh’s match against Australia, just three days later.

ESPNcricinfo learned that the general opinion among influential BCB officials is that Litton lost focus during the World Cup, although he was given both breaks for “humanitarian” reasons.

That potentially leaves Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mehidy Hasan Miraz as candidates for the captaincy. Shanto, who had led Bangladesh when Shakib missed the World Cup match against India due to a quadriceps injury, will also deputize as captain in their final match against Australia, to be played on November 11.

As for Shakib’s future in both Tests and ODIs, the BCB will discuss it with him soon. Before the World Cup, comments about the ODI captaincy aside, he had even outlined his retirement plans, saying that he would announce his retirement “after the 2025 Champions Trophy”.

Meanwhile, there is also a lack of clarity over Tamim Iqbal’s future in the Test side. He had missed the World Cup due to back problems and has not played in any of the four rounds of the current National Cricket League, which is Bangladesh’s main first-class competition.

Therefore, with Shakib and Tamim potentially absent against New Zealand, it would leave Mushfiqur Rahim and Mominul Haque as the only experienced batsmen, even though the BCB wants to play with a full squad. The bowling unit’s availability will largely depend on its physical upgrades after the World Cup.