Rumana Ahmed celebrates a wicket. © Getty Images
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Bangladesh suffered a huge blow ahead of their 2019 ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup Qualifiers campaign when Rumana Ahmed, the allrounder, was ruled out of the tournament due to a knee injury. The announcement was made by Nazmul Abedeen, women’s wing manager of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, on Friday (August 9).

“We cannot consider her (Rumana) for the World T20 qualifier as she is going through a recovery program and it will take quite some time for her to recover fully,” Nazmul said. “It is certainly a big loss considering she is an experienced cricketer and we will miss that experience in the middle.”

Ahmed is one of Bangladesh’s top players, with as many as 1,431 runs and 91 wickets in international cricket. She is the team’s second highest run-getter in T20Is, and also among the top wickets takers as well.

Following her stint in Australia as part of the Women’s Big Bash League rookie program, Ahmed had a breakthrough year in 2018. In 24 T20Is, the leg-spinning allrounder, scored 229 runs and took 30 wickets and also played a vital role in Bangladesh’s twin wins over India during the Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur. In the league encounter, Ahmed scored an unbeaten 42 to guide Bangladesh to victory in pursuit of 142, and in the final, she put up a Player of the Match performance, taking 2 wickets and also scoring a vital 23. She was also named in the ICC Women’s T20I team of the year in 2018.

Bangladesh are defending champions of the qualifying tournament having beaten Ireland in the final of the last edition where Panna Ghosh, the tall right-arm seamer, picked up five wickets.

The 2019 Qualifiers will be held in Scotland between August 31 and September 7. Bangladesh are placed in Group A alongside Papua New Guinea, Scotland and USA, while Group B consists of Ireland, Thailand, Namibia and Netherlands. The eight teams will fight it out for two spots in the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

Bangladesh are currently undergoing a preparatory camp in Mirpur before they head off to Scotland for another 10-day training camp. Some of the players were part of the Bangladesh Emerging squad that recently played against South Africa Emerging in South Africa.

Bangladesh are once again favourites to qualify for the mega-event next year, but the loss of Ahmed is likely to unsettle the balance of their team.

”We are hopeful that we can do well in qualifying round and will qualify for the World Cup,” Jahanara Alam was quoted as saying to reporters. “In the T20 World Cup, we want to win at least two matches first.”

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