Bangladesh have been dealt a big blow as spinner Mehidy Hasan has been ruled out of the first Test against Sri Lanka, starting 15 May in Chattogram.
The spinner is suffering from a finger injury and is set to be replaced by Nayeem Hasan in the squad. Mehidy is also doubtful for the second Test, which will begin on 23 May in Dhaka.
Mehidy's injury was confirmed by Habibul Bashar, a member of the national selection panel. "He (Mehidy) is definitely ruled out from the opening Test due to a hairline injury while he is also doubtful for the second Test," Bashar was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
His replacement, Nayeem Hasan has played seven Tests, taking 25 wickets for the Tigers.
Mehidy's absence will be another severe blow to Bangladesh's bowling attack, which is currently dealing with numerous injuries. Pacer Taskin Ahmed, who sustained a shoulder injury during the first Test against South Africa remains unavailable as he continues his recovery. Shoriful Islam's inclusion is also subject to fitness after he missed the series against the Proteas due to an ankle injury.
The hosts though will be bolstered by the return of talismanic all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who was named in the squad after missing the two-Test series against South Africa due to personal reasons.
The two-match series will be played under the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 cycle and will be crucial for both sides. Sri Lanka are currently placed fifth with a point percentage of 50% while Bangladesh languish a spot above the bottom at eighth with 16.66%.
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