Mustafizur Rahman returns for Sri Lanka Test tour

Mustafizur underwent a shoulder surgery in August last year. (File pic) © BCCI

Mustafizur Rahman, the Bangladesh fast bowler, will make his Test comeback after a bout of injuries in the upcoming two-Test tour of Sri Lanka. Pacer Rubel Hossain has also been included in the 16-man squad named on Tuesday (February 21) while opener Imrul Kayes missed out due to a thigh injury.

Mustafizur replaces Shafiul Islam in the squad that traveled to Hyderabad for the historic one-off Test against India. Opener Imrul was also a part of the contingent but missed out after injuring his thigh in the warm-up match against India A. A similar injury had forced him out of the Christchurch Test in January. Mosaddek Hossain, who was named as Imrul’s replacement, retains his spot in the squad for the upcoming Sri Lanka series.

Bangladesh had opted to rest Mustafizur for the historic game in India earlier this month as the team management felt the bowler was not at the peak of his fitness yet for a Test comeback. The left-arm pacer underwent a shoulder surgery in August last year after sustaining an injury while playing for Sussex in the County Championship.

Mustafizur was then picked for the limited-overs tour of Bangladesh’s New Zealand tour in December-January where he played four games before injuring his hamstring that ruled him out of the succeeding two-Test series. He proved his fitness by turning up in Bangladesh’s first-class competition, where the left-armer played two rounds, that convinced the selectors to recall him for an international stint.

“I am really impressed with the way he bowled in the second innings. I think he got back his rhythm,” Minhajul Abedin, Bangladesh’s chief selector had said.

Rubel too has been handed a recall after impressing in the Bangladesh Cricket League, where he took ten wickets in two games for South Zone.

The first of the two Tests will begin on March 7 in Galle, while the second game will be played in Colombo from March 15. The second game would also be Bangladesh’s 100th Test match.

Bangladesh Test squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (Captain), Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Mominul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Taijul Islam, Mehedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mosaddek Hossain, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Subashis Roy, Rubel Hossain.