Shakib Al Hasan has been appointed Bangladesh’s Twenty20 International captain. The decision, which was on the cards after Mashrafe Mortaza retired from the game’s shortest format after the drawn series in Sri Lanka earlier this month, was confirmed by Nazmul Hassan, the Bangladesh Cricket Board President, in Mirpur on Saturday (April 22).
“There were other names that we considered but Shakib’s form and ability in T20s is outstanding,” Hassan said. “So, he was almost chosen by default.”
Shakib, top-ranked allrounder in the shortest format, has so far played 59 T20Is since his debut in 2006, scoring 1208 runs and taking 70 wickets – both Bangladesh records. He is also the only Bangladesh bowler to take four wickets in a T20I innings thrice.
Shakib, who along with Mushfiqur Rahim is the joint-most capped T20I cricketer for Bangladesh, had previously led the country on four occasions in 2009 and 2010, losing all four matches.
Mortaza finished his captaincy career with 10 wins in 28 games. Shakib had played a significant role in giving Mortaza a winning farewell, scoring 38 and taking 3 for 24 in the second T20I against Sri Lanka, which Bangladesh won by 45 runs to level the two-match series.
Shakib is currently playing for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. In his first match of the season, against Gujarat Lions on Friday, he opened the bowling and conceded 31 off three overs in a four-wicket loss.
With Shakib taking up the leadership mantle, Bangladesh now have different captains in all three formats, with Rahim and Mortaza continuing to lead in Tests and One-Day Internationals respectively.
Bangladesh are tenth in T20Is on the International Cricket Council’s ranking table, but their immediate attention is on the triangular 50-over series in Ireland in mid-May before the Champions Trophy in England. Shakib is expected to join the training camp in Sussex on May 4.