Women’s Asia Cup 2024 – Bangladesh recall Rumana Ahmed, Jahanara Alam

Bangladesh have brought back the experienced pair of Rumana Ahmed and Jahanara Alam after more than a year out of the squad for the Women’s Asia Cup starting next month.

Though allrounder Rumana and seamer Jahanara have played 134 and 130 internationals, respectively, the Bangladesh selectors seemed to have moved on from them to build a relatively younger side. But it appears losing back-to-back T20I series to Australia (3-0) and India (5-0) recently has forced them into a rethink.

Jahanara was the top wicket-taker in this season’s Dhaka Premier Division Women’s Cricket League (DPDWCL), with 25 wickets in nine matches, while legspinner Rumana took 17 wickets.

“Rumana and Jahanara were out of the team for 12 months. We have to keep in mind that there is very little training facilities for our female cricketers, so it is to their credit that they held on to their fitness,” women’s chief selector Sajjad Ahmed said. “They performed very well in the Premier League. It is a good news for us that we can get their experience in our squad, which allows us to have a balanced squad.”

There were also call-ups for opener Ishma Tanjim and left-arm spinner Sabikun Nahar, who are highly rated by the selectors.

“Ishma Tanjim is a free-flowing opening batter. She plays some great shots,” Sajjad said. “She is technically very sound. She had a nearly 100 strike rate [in the DPDWCL], second-highest behind Dilara Akter. She made runs in some good matches, which prompted me to pick her. Sabikun Nahar is a left-arm spinner who can partner Nahida [Akter]. I feel her pace, variation and accuracy will release pressure on Nahida.”

Bangladesh left out Habiba Islam, Fahima Khatun, Sobhana Mostary and Fariha Trisna from the team that played against India in May. Sajjad said that he is hopeful that this squad can get Bangladesh to the Asia Cup semi-finals.

“I think we have a great prospect in the Asia Cup this year,” he said. “We open the tournament against Sri Lanka. If we win that game, we have a great chance of playing in the semi-final.”

Bangladesh take on Sri Lanka on July 20, followed by matches against Thailand and Malaysia on July 22 and 24, respectively.

Nigar Sultana (capt, wk), Nahida Akter, Murshida Khatun, Dilara Akter, Rumana Ahmed, Ritu Moni, Marufa Akter, Jahanara Alam, Rabeya Khan, Sultana Khatun, Rubya Haider, Shorna Akter, Ishma Tanjim, Sabikun Nahar and Shorifa Khatun


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