Bangladesh’s selectors on Thursday included uncapped Sohag Gazi in the 14-member squad, hoping the off-spinner can get the better of left-handers in the West Indies team during next week’s first Test.

The 21-year-old took 11 wickets in Bangladesh’s ongoing first-class season that included a hat-trick and a century, earning him a call for the first of two Tests starting in Mirpur, Dhaka from November 13.

Also included in the squad is 20-year-old fast bowler Abul Hasan, who has impressed with his performance during the four Twenty20 Internationals for Bangladesh this year.

But there was no room for the country’s most experienced batsman Mohammad Ashraful, who has failed to display the requisite performance in recent years.

Chief selector Akram Khan said Gazi had been rewarded for his impressive recent showings.

“We have been watching him for a year and after his recent performance we thought this is the perfect time to give him a break,” Akram Khan told reporters. “West Indies has plenty of left-handers, so we needed someone like him.”

Pace bowler Rubel Hossain returned to the side after a long injury lay-off that required shoulder surgery this year.

The squad for the second Test, which will be held at the new venue, Khulna, from November 21, will be announced later.

Akram Khan said the team selection had to be made on past form and experience, after a warm-up match was cancelled.

The West Indies was to play a three-day warm-up match against Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in Savar from Thursday but it was initially delayed by one day because of wet ground conditions before being completely called off.

The squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (capt.), Mohammad Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal, Junaid Siddique, Shahriar Nafees, Shakib Al-Hasan, Naeem Islam, Nazimuddin, Nasir Hossain, Elias Sunny, Shahadat Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Abul Hasan and Sohag Gazi. — AFP

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