Rubel Hossain, who was included in the 18-man preliminary squad for the Sri Lanka ODIs, is likely to miss out on the final squad. The right-arm fast bowler is suffering from recurrent low back pain.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is set to exclude Rubel but its chief physician Dr Debashish Chowdhury suggested that they would wait for the pacer to gain fitness. But the 31-year old, to his own admission, is not in a position to play. He has probably been informed already that he won't feature in the squad.
The right-arm pacer played an ODI and a T20I in the New Zealand tour and since then is away from action. He hasn't bowled for some time due to the pain. The rehabilitation process is still going on and the BCB is not likely to take a risk by playing him now.
Dr Chowdhury said, "The pain won't go away as long as he plays. It's not easy for a fast bowler to play 10-15 years. Not only Rubel but also many fast bowlers are going through this problem. He was in a fair bit of discomfort in New Zealand. He doesn't have much pain now. But it's him who has to decide. But the tests suggest that there is no pain."
But Rubel suggests otherwise. The veteran pacer told The Business Standard (TBS), "I can't play if I feel pain. I am feeling better now. But it still hurts sometimes when I try to bend over."
When asked if Rubel can be fit before the commencement of the ODI series, he said, "I haven't started bowling since the New Zealand tour. I will start soon. But I don't think it's possible to play in this series. I haven't bowled or practiced for a long time. The rehabilitation process is still going on."
Sri Lanka will lock horns with Bangladesh in the first ODI at Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on May 23.
The Kusal Perera-led side will play two more ODIs on the same venue on May 25 and 28. All the matches will be part of the ODI Super League. The visitors will fly back home on May 29.