and Rejaur Rahman Raja
have been sent to South Africa to spent time and train with the main Bangladesh touring party, and that has left Prime Bank with barely enough players to field an XI for their Dhaka Premier League (DPL) opening match against City Club on March 15.
Prime Bank had already lost Tamim Iqbal, Shoriful Islam, Yasir Ali, Mustafizur Rahman, Mominul Haque and Taijul Islam to the national side
, which will play ODIs and Tests while in South Africa. Mohammedan Sporting and Abahani Limited have six and five men in the national sides, respectively, but Prime Bank are now eight short, and Mithun and Raja are not even part of any of the squads. The ODI-only players will be back for the DPL after the last ODI on March 23. But the Test players will be back only after April 11. They have been sent to Cape Town in advance to train, and will now miss most of the league phase of the DPL.
“Every club built their team knowing that Test players are also going to South Africa early,” Mohammad Salahuddin, the Prime Bank coach who recently won his third BPL title with Comilla Victorians
, said of the situation. “But unfortunately, two players from our club, who are not part of the ODI or Test squad, Mithun and Raja, are also in South Africa. We were already without six players, and with these two, we will not have eight players. It will be difficult to put together a team.”
“The coach and selectors recommended that we send extra players. The coach wanted to see Raja, who is a promising player, while Mithun will get confidence training with the national team”
BCB cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus
While Mithun, a Bangladesh international in all three formats but not considered since July last year, has been sent to South Africa, Abahani’s Mohammad Naim
, a centrally contracted player and part of Bangladesh’s Test squad in New Zealand earlier this year, has not been picked to travel, and that has irked Salahuddin.
“Mithun hasn’t been part of the national setup for the last nine months. If they [Mithun and Raja] were going to play [in South Africa], I wouldn’t have a problem, but they are going only for training,” Salahuddin said. “They are not in the squads. There were players from other clubs like Naim but they took players from Prime Bank. It is going to hurt us. I didn’t really like it.”
Jalal Yunus, the BCB’s cricket operations chairman, explained that the decision to send the two Prime Bank players to South Africa was made by the team management.
“The coach [Russell Domingo] said that since Naim isn’t among the runs, he should continue playing domestic cricket,” Yunus was quoted as saying by Kaler Kantho. “The coach and selectors recommended that we send extra players. This is the first time I am hearing that the problem is that they play for Prime Bank.
“The coach wanted to see Raja, who is a promising player, while Mithun will get confidence training with the national team. They will return before the Test series, so they will only miss two or three (DPL) matches.”
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84