After spending four years in wilderness, spinner Abdur Razzak has returned to Bangladesh squad announced for the first Test against Sri Lanka in Chittagong.
With all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan sidelined with a finger injury he sustained in the final of the tri-nation series on Saturday, Bangladesh Cricket Board announced overnight the inclusion of left-arm spinner Sunzamul Islam and leg-break bowler Tanbir Hayder for the Test.
Veteran left-arm spinner Razzak, once indispensible in the limited-overs games, had been overlooked when Chandika Hathurusingha was the head coach of the Tigers despite performing regularly in domestic cricket. Now he returns after the end of the Hathurusingha era.
The 35-year-old joined the squad in Chittagong on Sunday evening. Coincidentally, he played his last Test also in the same venue in February, 2014, and against the same opponents.
But his Test career is a modest one with 23 wickets in 12 games.
His performance in domestic tournaments in longer versions in the past few seasons has forced the selectors’ hands.
Recently, he became the first Bangladeshi bowler to take 500 wickets in first-class cricket.
With Sunzamul and Tanbir, Bangladesh have three uncapped players in the Test squad as they have joined off-spinner Naeem Hasan from the under-19 squad.
The drafting of Razzak, Sunzamul, Tanbir and Naeem has taken the number of spinners in the squad for the Test to six.
Mehidy Hassan Miraz and Taijul Islam have already been squad members.
Mahmud Ullah will stand in for regular captain Shakib in the Test.
The others in the 16-member squad are Tamim Iqbal, Litton Kumer Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Mustafizur Rahman, Kamrul Islam Rabbi and Rubel Hossain.