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Bangladesh omit Mohammad Ashraful for England series

Mohammad Ashraful
Ashraful's confidence has been shaken by a run of poor form

Bangladesh have left former captain Mohammad Ashraful out of their squad for the one-day series against England.

The 25-year-old managed only 37 runs at an average of 12 in a recent three-match series in New Zealand.

Pacemen Shahadat Hossain and Nazmul Hossain have also been left out, with the selectors giving a first chance to all-rounder Mohammed Sohrawordhi.

The series against England starts on Sunday, with Bangladesh looking to end a run of seven successive defeats.

Ashraful has scored only one half century during that losing streak and his loss of form is a blow for the Tigers, who will now look to openers Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes and skipper Shakib Al Hasan to provide bating inspiration.

"Ashraful himself wanted a break and we also felt that the pressure on him had increased to the extent that his confidence was suffering," said chief selector Rafiqul Alam.


"We believe that a gap from international cricket would be beneficial for him and he will come back strongly soon and do justice to his calibre."

One piece of good news for Bangladesh is the return of seam bowler Mashrafe Mortaza, who missed the tour to New Zealand because of knee problems and illness but played for a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI against England on Thursday, bowling eight wicketless overs at a cost of 48 runs.

He is likely to share the new ball with 20-year-old Shafiul Islam, who impressed in New Zealand by taking seven wickets at a cost of only 23 runs each, but is thinking over his future in Test cricket in order to save himself for the limited-overs game.

The inclusion of former Bangladesh under-19 captain Sohrawordi, meanwhile, is based on his recent form in Bangladesh's first-class competition, which has brought him 191 runs and 21 wickets in five games.

"He is a very capable cricketer and has been in the team as a specialist left-arm spinner. He can also be a more than handy batsman in the middle and lower order and is a top fielder also," said Alam.

Bangladesh have played England in eight limited overs internationals and lost them all - the most recent a four-wicket defeat in Barbados during the 207 World Cup.

Bangladesh squad: Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Mushfiqur Rahim (vice-captain), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Zunaid Siddique, Aftab Ahmed, Mahmudullah, Naeem Islam, Mashrafe Mortaza, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Mohammed Sohrawordhi.

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see also
England stroll to warm-up victory
25 Feb 10 |  England
Kieswetter stars on England debut
23 Feb 10 |  England
Kiwis complete one-day whitewash
11 Feb 10 |  Cricket
England in UAE & Bangladesh 2010
23 Feb 10 |  Cricket

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