The Bangladesh Cricket Board on Sunday included uncapped Fariha Islam and Disha Bishwas in the 20-member preliminary squad for the upcoming Women's ODI World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe, from November 16 to December 5. Besides the duo, there were no surprises as the team management decided to keep their faith in the tried and tested.
BCB also announced a five-day fitness camp for the squad in Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium from September 21. The national women cricketers are currently enjoying a 10-day break following their month-long camp in BKSP that ended with a four-team zonal competition featuring all the leading names. After completing the fitness camp, the squad will travel to Sylhet to play five 50-over matches until October 11.
The qualifying event for the Women's ODI World Cup, pushed back by a year due to COVID-19 enforced break, was originally due to be held in Sri Lanka before being moved to the African nation last month. Consequently Bangladesh – who haven't played an international fixture since the pandemic outbreak – have been able to tentatively fix a three-match ODI series against the hosts, Zimbabwe, ahead of the qualifying event, from where only the top-three sides will progress to the tournament proper, in New Zealand next year. The next two-best sides, though, will also earn their spot in the next ODI Championship cycle.
In an interview with Cricbuzz, ODI captain Rumana Ahmed said that her side would look to hit the ground running after a prolonged break, since there's a lot more at stake in the Qualifier besides a potential World Cup berth in order to gain momentum for the qualifiers.
Bangladesh Preliminary Squad: Murshida Khatun, Shamima Sultana, Nigar Sultana Joty, Fargana Hoque Pinky, Rumana Ahmed (C), Ritu Moni, Nahida Akter, Salma Khatun, Jahanara Alam, Lata Mondol, Suraiya Azmin, Nuzhat Tasnia, Fahima Khatun, Fariha Islam Trisna, Shanjida Akther Maghla, Sobhana Mostary, Khadija Tul Kubra, Sharmin Akter Supta, Puja Chakrabortty and Disha Biswas.