Najmul Hossain Shanto
Prothom Alo

Bangladesh on Saturday said batsman Najmul Hossain Shanto would lead the country in the two-Test series against New Zealand beginning later this month.

Najmul was given the charge as regular captain Shakib Al Hasan was injured during the World Cup in India, and his deputy, Liton Das, requested a break to be with his newborn daughter.

"Liton asked for a month's leave. He won't play two Tests... he wants to spend this month exclusively with his family," Bangladesh Cricket Board's cricket operations chief Jalal Yunus told reporters in Dhaka.

"Najmul Hossain is captain for the next two Tests."

Najmul was named vice-captain of the one-day international side before the World Cup, and led the side in two matches in the tournament in Shakib's absence.

He also led Bangladesh in the third and final one-day match against New Zealand in September, in the absence of Shakib and Liton.

New Zealand beat Bangladesh 2-0 in the ODI series, the side's first series win in Bangladesh in 15 years.

Left-arm spinner Hasan Murad was handed his maiden call-up to the Bangladesh squad, with top-order batsman Shahadat Hossain and pace bowler Hasan Mahmud being the other uncapped players in the side.

The 22-year-old Murad has made an impressive start to his first-class career, taking 121 wickets from 25 matches since his debut in 2021.

New Zealand's Test squad will arrive in Bangladesh on Monday, and the first Test will be held in Sylhet from 28 November to 2 December.

Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium will host the second Test from 6 to 10 December.

Squad: Najmul Hossain Shanto (Capt), Mahmudul Hasan, Zakir Hasan, Shadman Islam, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Nayeem Hasan, Khaled Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Hasan Mahmud, Shahadat Hossain, Hasan Murad.

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