Bangladesh name 15-year-old quick Habiba Islam for T20I series against India

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Bangladesh have picked 15-year-old fast bowler Habiba Islam to bolster their bowling attack for the five-match T20I series against India at home later this month. They have also included Rubya Haider in place of Farzana Akter as they build towards the T20 World Cup at home in September and October this year.
Rubya, like the uncapped Farzana, is a wicketkeeper-batter who played the three-T20I series against Sri Lanka last year. The uncapped Habiba has taken the place of Sumaiya Akter, the offspin-bowling allrounder.
“We haven’t changed the squad that much. Since we are playing on sporting wickets in Sylhet, we have taken an extra pace bowler,” Bangladesh women’s chief selector Sajjad Ahmed said. “We also have Rubya Haider, our opening batter and wicketkeeper, returning from injury. This is a good news.

“Rubya has returned after a long injury layoff. She got injured in Hong Kong. She is an automatic choice for us now. We had two fast bowlers in the T20I series against Australia. We had Marufa [Akter] and Fariha [Trisna]. Habiba will be our back-up pace bowler.”

Bangladesh lost both the ODI and the T20I series 3-0 against Australia at home recently. They were bowled out for under 100 runs in all three ODIs and while they were a bit more competitive in the T20Is, the gulf between them and Australia was clearly visible.

“This is a very important series for us,” Sajjad said. “Our batters are struggling to get runs at home. If they can do better and our bowlers are usually good, we can come back as a unit. Australia was an extraordinary team. We couldn’t cope up with them. We have to forget about those results, and hope to compete against India.

“I think our World Cup preparations start from this series against India. Our team formation, planning and strategy is geared for the World Cup. We are not playing any other formats from now. We can’t still say that this is our final squad for the World Cup. We have the Asia Cup coming up. We are also planning to play another home series before the World Cup. We have matches coming up, which could lead to some changes.”

All five T20Is between Bangladesh and India will be played in Sylhet, at the main stadium and the adjacent academy ground. The matches will be played on April 28 and 30, and May 2, 6 and 9.

Bangladesh women squad for T20I series against India

Nigar Sultana (capt), Nahida Akter, Murshida Khatun, Sobhana Mostary, Shorna Akter, Ritu Moni, Rabeya Khan, Sultana Khatun, Fahima Khatun, Marufa Akter, Fariha Islam, Shorifa Khatun, Dilara Akter, Rubya Haider, Habiba Islam

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