Mominul Haque was brought back into squad on Sunday (August 20), a day after his being left out for the first Test against Australia created uproar on social media circles in Bangladesh.
Nazmul Hassan, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president, said he had personally instructed selectors and team management to include Mominul, whose Test average of 46.88 is the highest for any Bangladeshi batsman who has played at least 20 Test innings.
“There was no reason Mominul should have been dropped,” said Nazmul at a crowded press briefing in Dhaka. “I have spoken (to selectors and coach Chandika Hathurusingha) asking why he was dropped. I think he became a victim of situation. I would say he has no reason to feel upset.”
Mosaddek Hossain, the middle-order batsman, made way for Mominul in the 14-man squad for the first Test, beginning August 27, after showing no signs of improvement from an eye infection.
Mominul had made a vital contribution towards his team’s win over England in their last Test at home in October. But he hasn’t been in good touch since making 64 in the first Test in New Zealand in January this year, scoring 23, 12, 27, 7 and 5 before losing place in the XI in Bangladesh’s last Test match in Sri Lanka, which they won by four wickets to finish the two-match series 1-1.
Yet his exclusion came as a surprise considering his record at home, with most media outlets questioning the move. “The decision could be accepted without objection if it was (taken) in keeping with a consistent policy,” said the Daily Star in an opinion piece.
Aminul Islam, the former Bangladesh captain who lives in Australia, expressed his shock on Facebook. “Sorry Mominul. Speechless! Don’t know whether there is any word to console this talented and hard working boy! Although I have witnessed so many unjust treatment in my career, I feel this one to be the most terrible one!” he wrote.
Bangladesh have not played a Test against Australia since Ricky Ponting’s team visited the country in 2006, six years after they were granted Test status.