The Bangladesh Cricket Board unveiled its eagerly awaited central contracts yesterday, outlining the team’s composition for the upcoming year. The list, comprising 21 players, showcases a strategic blend of experienced stalwarts and promising newcomers, poised to spearhead Bangladesh’s cricketing ambitions.
Shakib Al Hasan, Litton Das, and Mehidy Hasan Miraz, the pillars of Bangladesh’s cricketing success, retain their coveted all-format contracts. Their consistent performances across formats make them indispensable figures in the national team’s setup. Joining them will be Bangladesh’s new all-format skipper, Najmul Hossain Shanto, and young pacer, Shoriful Islam.
As many as 4 players who were handed contracts last year have not received a renewal. These include the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Mosaddek Hossain, Ebadot Hossain, and Afif Hossain. The exclusion of the rising all-rounder Afif Hossain comes as a surprise to many. He was given plenty of opportunities but it seems like his failure to make the most of them has come to bite him. The ones to benefit from this are Towhid Hridoy, Tanzim Hasan, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Naeem Hasan, and Nurul Hasan, who have all been handed a central contract for the first time.
End of the road for Tamim?
The biggest striking point of the announcement was the omission of veteran opener Tamim Iqbal, who has had multiple issues with the board of late. Back in July 2023, Iqbal had decided to hang his boots but was forced out of retirement by the board. They wanted him to feature in the 2023 ODI World Cup but was ultimately dropped for the event which was mainly due to the insistence of Shakib Al Hasan.
At the time, Shakib, the skipper of the side had said that he was not in favour of carrying a half-fit player for a tournament with such a big magnitude. Iqbal and Shakib took shots at each other publicly which put the country’s cricketing system in a bad light. Now, Iqbal’s absence from the contract list suggests that his international career could be done and dusted.