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Shanto named captain in all formats

UNB . Dhaka
12 Feb 2024 20:36:12 | Update: 12 Feb 2024 21:33:13
Shanto named captain in all formats
— Courtesy Photo

Left-handed opener Najmul Hossain Shanto will take over as captain of the Bangladesh national cricket team in all formats, replacing Shakib Al Hasan.

Sports Minister and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hasan confirmed the decision following the board's first meeting of the year on Monday.

“Najmul Hossain Shanto has been appointed as the new captain in all formats,” Nazmul stated. “He will lead Bangladesh in Tests, ODIs, and T20Is for at least this year.”

The decision marks a shift from previous statements by BCB's cricket operations chairman, Jalal Yunus, who indicated during the recent home series against New Zealand that Shakib would continue as captain.

Shanto's appointment as T20I captain may come as a surprise, as Shakib remains a regular in the format for Bangladesh. However, a combination of factors influenced the decision, according to Nazmul Hasan.

“Shakib is facing ongoing issues with his eyesight,” the BCB president explained. "With an upcoming series against Sri Lanka and the World Cup on the horizon, we felt appointing a new captain now provided crucial stability.”

The BCB president expressed hope that this change will facilitate smooth preparations for the World Cup.

Shanto has proven his leadership abilities while captaining Bangladesh in Shakib's absence. He recently expressed a desire for a longer stint as captain while interacting with the media. 

Shanto boasts a successful captaining record with Bangladesh, having led the team to three victories in six ODIs, three T20Is, and two Tests. He also demonstrated leadership experience as captain of the Bangladesh U-19 team.

The vice-captain position remains open. The board president indicated that several names are under consideration and that Bangladesh may have different vice captains for Test and ODI formats.

As the full-time captain, Shanto’s first assignment is going to be the home series against Sri Lanka, comprising three T20Is, three ODIs, and two Tests. The series will be played across two venues in Sylhet and Chattogram.