The Bangladesh side has lost the services of ace all-rounder Salma Khatun who has been ruled out due to a shoulder injury but BCB’s Selector for Women’s Cricket Team and Manager for the Tour Athar Ali Khan was confident that the squad still had a lot to offer: “We will definitely miss the experience of Salma who is one of the leading players in the world. She did join the camp but could not bowl and we thought it was in the best interest of the team that she was given time to recover as we have a long season ahead with the Asia Cup, World Cup qualifiers and hopefully the World Cup coming. However, we still have a lot of variation in bowling, especially in the spin department. There are two leg spinners (Fahima Khatun and Rumana Ahmed) and Nahida (Akter) is a wily left-arm spinner. Newcomer Jannatul Ferdous is a very exciting prospect who bowls off-break, can bat in the middle order and is a fine fielder. She has caught the eye”
Athar said the conditions meant that another fresh face right arm pacer Suraiya Azmin got the nod as the third seamer: “The conditions in Northern Ireland traditionally favours seam bowling, We have Jahanara (Alam) and Panna (Ghosh) to share the new ball and Suriya will be the backup. Ritu Moni took four wickets in a practice match this week. She is also capable of bowling seam up and is very accurate.
“The batting is a little bit of a worry as the openers Ayasha Rahman and Sanjida Islam have not been among the runs recently. I am expecting Fargana Hoque, who has been our best batter for a while, to take the lead here and the others can bat around her.
“We are a confident unit. Bangladesh is ranked above Ireland and our goal is to win the matches but the different conditions will be a challenge and we have to work really, really hard.”
Squad: Sanjida Islam, Fahima Khatun, Ayasha Rahman, Jahanara Alam, Fargana Hoque, Nahida Akter, Lata Mondol, Panna Ghosh, Rumana Ahmed, Khadija Tul Kobra, Nigar Sultana, Suraiya Azmin, Ritu Moni, Jannatul Ferdus
Stand By: Sharmin Akter Supta, Shaila Sharmin