Mashrafe Mortaza
Mashrafe Mortaza (AFP Photo)

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has said he was unaware of the decision to call Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes in Bangladesh squad for the Asia Cup 2018.

Bangladesh suffered their second straight defeat at the tournament after being beaten by India last night in Dubai. The failure of their batsmen, especially the top order, has contributed heavily towards their sorry show after starting the tournament with an emphatic win over six-time champions Sri Lanka.

To address the issue, Bangladesh called up top-order batsmen Soumya and Kayes – both of whom played their last ODI for Bangladesh in October, 2017 – as cover for openers Liton Das and Nazmul Hossain Shanto for the remainder of the Asia Cup.

At the post match press conference, Mortaza said the reinforcements were announced without any discussion. “I’m still not sure about those who are coming, there has been no discussion. The matter is not clear yet,” he said on Friday.

Mortaza said the news came when he was on the field and he isn’t sure whether the recalled duo has worked on the aspects of their respective games which led to them being dropped in the first place.

“Look, those who are coming have also lost their places in the team,” Mashrafe was quoted as saying by the Daily Star. “As I said, I am not sure – there has not been a discussion on this. But they have been dropped because of non-performance. And in these conditions, coming in suddenly and taking the pressure – I don’t know what they have done technically, whether they have rectified the problems for which they were dropped in the first place.

“So all these things will matter in such a tournament. And particularly in the Afghanistan match — if you think about it, they will have to face even tougher bowlers. For sure, it won’t be easy for anyone – not for those who are currently playing, nor for those coming in. But everything in international cricket is tough – and you have to score, bat well and bowl well within that, and we have staged comebacks like this. Nothing is impossible, whoever plays has to take a little responsibility.”