Hassan has been known over the years for having a major say in most decisions in Bangladesh cricket. So when he speaks about the World Cup squad, it becomes an important reference point even for the national selectors.
Bangladesh are likely to finalise their squad for the World Cup, which is set to be played in India in October-November 2023, when they play the Asia Cup, which is scheduled for September. ODI captain Tamim Iqbal, however, has suggested that the team is unlikely to experiment with too many new faces even during the Afghanistan ODIs in July.
“There’s no guarantee for anyone who will be in the squad that he will play in the eleven. Afif and Mahmudullah can make it to the team for their batting. Yasir hasn’t done much after returning from injury. Afif and Mosaddek are ahead in bowling, and so is Mahmudullah. Afif is the better fielder among them [followed by] Mosaddek and then [Mahmudullah] Riyad.”
Hassan also felt there could be room in the squad for a back-up opener. Mohammad Naim and Anamul Haque Bijoy – who topped this season’s Dhaka Premier League run charts – could be in contention for this spot.
“They might pick a back-up opener in case of an injury,” Hassan said. “They are likely to pick three pacers so any three among Hasan Mahmud, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Ebadot Hossain and Mustafizur [Rahman] will play. They are unlikely to play anything less than five bowlers in the World Cup. They may even take four pacers in the line-up. They will also need an extra spinner.”
“I haven’t heard anything from the ACC [Asian Cricket Council] regarding the Asia Cup. But it will take place,” Hassan said. “It is hard to say where it will be. I know that there are two options. Firstly, it can be a hybrid model, to be held in Pakistan and UAE. The second one is that it could be held in one country, most likely in Sri Lanka. They offered it to Bangladesh but we refused it as there will be rain at the time.”