Shakib Al Hasan has been included in Bangladesh's squad for the two-match Test series in New Zealand that begins on New Year's Day, despite the allrounder having informed the BCB "unofficially" that he does not want to be on the tour, according to the board president Nazmul Hassan.
"He hasn't informed us officially. He told us unofficially," Hassan said. "We told him to inform us officially. He has to give a reason. Shakib contributes with either bat or ball. He strengthens the team combination. There's no substitute for Shakib."
Bangladesh have also included the left-arm fast bowler Shoriful Islam, while dropping Nayeem Hasan and Rejaur Rahman Raja, who are part of the 19-member squad involved in the ongoing second Test against Pakistan.
The selectors have picked an 18-member squad for New Zealand that includes six fast bowlers, three spinners and three openers.
Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Shadman Islam are the first choice openers, and the squad also includes the T20 specialist Mohammad Naim, who has played only six first-class matches in his career.
Captain Mominul Haque will be hopeful that Shakib makes himself available for the tour, since Mushfiqur Rahim is the only other senior player in the squad, with Tamim Iqbal still recovering from the thumb injury that has kept him out of the Pakistan series.
Among the fast bowlers, Taskin Ahmed is the likely attack leader although he still has to recover from the finger injury sustained during the T20I series against Pakistan. The others are Khaled Ahmed and Ebadat Hossain, who are currently playing the second Test in Dhaka, as well as Abu Jayed, Shohidul Islam and Shoriful, the only left-armer.
Shoriful's only Test so far came earlier this year against Sri Lanka in Pallekele. He finished with match figures of 1 for 99 in a Bangladesh defeat.
The New Zealand series will count towards the 2021-23 World Test Championship. The first Test is set to be played in Mount Maunganui from January 1 to 5, and the second in Christchurch from January 9 to 13.
Bangladesh squad for New Zealand Test series:
Mominul Haque (capt), Shadman Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Liton Das, Nurul Hasan, Yasir Ali, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Jayed, Ebadat Hossain, Shoriful Islam, Khaled Ahmed, Shohidul Islam, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Mohammad Naim