Former captain Mashrafe Mortaza has been left out of Bangladesh’s preliminary squad for the upcoming series against the West Indies, fuelling uncertainty about the future of his international career.

The Windies are due to tour Bangladesh for three one-day internationals and two Tests and will arrive in Dhaka on January 10.

It is the first series in the South Asian nation since March, when the coronavirus pandemic saw global sporting events cancelled or postponed.

“It was a tough decision for us but we have to accept the reality and move ahead,” chief selector Minhajul Abedin said at a press conference where the 24-man squad was announced.

“It’s a new beginning, and whoever comes in his place – it’s an opportunity for him,” he added.

Mashrafe stepped down as Bangladesh’s ODI captain in March but kept himself available for selection.

He showed some form with a career-best five-wicket haul during a recent Twenty20 match in domestic competition.

Two members of Bangladesh Under-19 World Cup-winning squad – pacer Shoriful Islam and batsmen Pervez Hossain – were included in the squad.

According to an itinerary released by the Bangladesh Cricket Board, the West Indians will quarantine for seven days after their arrival.

The series will run until February 15.