Bangladesh were squarely beaten the last time they faced England in a Twenty20 International. It was a group-stage match of the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup and the Tigers suffered an eight-wicket drubbing against the English side in the UAE.
Despite the harrowing defeat, it was a memorable match for Bangladesh as it ended their near 14-year wait of playing a T20 against England.
About one and a half years after that match, Bangladesh is now one day away from ending another wait, playing their maiden bilateral T20 series against England.
The England team has toured Bangladesh previously, but in those tours they played 50-over games and Tests, not T20s.
This time, the England team will play a T20 series against Bangladesh for the very first time and that series will begin on Thursday at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.
Although England have never played a T20 against the hosts in Bangladesh, they have played T20s in the country.
The English side played four T20s in Bangladesh during the 2014 ICC T20 World Cup. Moreover, all four of those matches took place at ZACS.
Bangladesh will be coming into the T20 series with some momentum despite losing the preceding ODI series 1-2 mainly thanks to ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan.
Shakib’s stellar all-round performance – 75 off 71 balls with the bat and 4-35 with the ball – powered Bangladesh to a 50-run win in the third ODI in ZACS and saved the home side from suffering their first clean sweep in an ODI series at home since 2014.
Shakib will lead the team in the T20 series and he will have a much younger squad at his disposal compared to the ODIs as experienced players like Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah are not in the side.
ODI skipper Tamim and wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiq have already retired from the T20 format and former T20 captain Mahmudullah has lost his place in the squad.
Fresh faces will replace these veterans in the T20 XI and Shakib, who was demoted to no. 5 in the ODI series, is likely to return to his favoured no. 3 spot.
This will also be Shakib’s first bilateral T20 series as the Bangladesh captain since taking over the role from Mahmudullah in August last year.
Young prospects like batsman Towhid Hridoy and left-arm spinner Tanvir Islam could get their maiden international cap as they have been included in the squad after a great showing in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
Opener Rony Talukdar has also been recalled for the Bangladesh squad after eight years, but it remains to be seen whether this right-hander gets another chance in the playing XI.
This will be England’s first T20 match since they defeated Pakistan in the final of the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 in Melbourne, Australia.
The reigning T20 World Champions have replenished their squad for the three-match T20 series with the inclusions of opener Ben Duckett and pacer Chris Jordan.