Najmul Hossain Shanto To Lead Bangladesh In New Zealand Tests

In a recent development, Najmul Hossain Shanto has been appointed as the captain of the Bangladesh Test team for the upcoming two-match series against New Zealand at home. This decision comes as Litton Das, who captained the team in the one-off Test against Afghanistan in June, has been granted paternity leave for a month. The announcement was made by Jalal Yunus, chairman of the BCB’s cricket operations committee.

“Litton has been granted leave for one month; he is not available for the two Tests. He wants to spend time with his newborn baby,” Yunus explained. “We had requested him to play at least the second Test match, but he insisted on [being away for] the whole series. That’s why we granted him leave. As a result, Najmul Hossain Shanto will captain the side in these two Tests,” said Yunus.

Shanto, with 23 Tests under his belt, an average of 29.83, and four centuries, is no stranger to captaincy, having led the team in three ODIs, including two matches at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. The previous captain, Shakib Al Hasan, is currently sidelined with a fractured finger, and his return to international cricket remains uncertain.

Regarding Shakib’s future plans and captaincy, Yunus stated, “The BCB hasn’t heard directly about his plans to leave the captaincy after the World Cup. Shakib is also undergoing rehab for a left index finger injury sustained during the 2023 World Cup and is expected to recover in three to four weeks.”

Meanwhile, Tamim Iqbal, who missed the World Cup due to unforeseen circumstances, will meet with the BCB on November 22. The BCB has appointed Corey Collymore and David Hemp as the temporary fast-bowling and batting coaches, respectively. Collymore replaces Allan Donald, who departed after the World Cup.

Yunus clarified, “Spin-bowling coach Rangana Herath and fielding coach Shane McDermott will continue in their capacities till the end of their contracts on November 30 and December 31, respectively.”

The first Test against New Zealand is scheduled to be held in Dhaka starting November 28, followed by the second Test in Dunedin from December 6 to 10. Shanto, who recently led Bangladesh in the 2023 World Cup, will now take charge as the 13th Test captain for Bangladesh.

Reflecting on Bangladesh’s performance in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, Yunus mentioned, “Everyone has to take the blame for the World Cup. We have sat with the president in this regard and will be having a board meeting where it will be discussed.”

Litton Das, who amassed 284 runs in the World Cup at an average of 31.55, has been granted one month’s leave, expressing his desire to be with his newborn baby and the baby’s mother. Bangladesh will face New Zealand in a two-match Test series followed by three ODIs and as many T20Is next month.