Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tigers on Eid holidays

The national cricketers will get back to business on November 21 after Eid holidays to carry on the preparation for next month's one-day series against Zimbabwe; their last international engagement before the 2011 World Cup.
Bangladesh cricket team
The Tigers are scheduled to travel to Chittagong after the vacation for three days as the last two games of the five-match series is planned to take place at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in the port city.
But there is an uncertainty about holding the last two games in Chittagong as the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) was not fully confident about whether the venue, which is preparing for the two World Cup matches, will be ready by that time to host international match.
Zimbabwe arrive in Dhaka on November 26 and play the first one-dayer on December 1 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. The last two matches of the five-match series are scheduled for December 10 and December 12 at Chittagong.
"It's not officially cancelled yet, so as per schedule the practice will be resumed in Chittagong on November 21. The schedule will be changed accordingly if the authority cancel the matches in Chittagong," said chief selector Rafiqul Alam yesterday.
The three-member selection committee led by Alam was yet to decide about the announcement of the final team for the series.
"We want to take time and the advantage as the hosts. There are some injury problems also as Rokibul [Hasan] has a groin injury and Tamim [Iqbal] is yet to bat in a match-scenario since being operated on his left wrist," informed Alam.
He however said that Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who has been out of competitive match practice since he had twisted his ankle during the first one-day match against New Zealand on October 5, has been getting fitter everyday.
Fit-again Mashrafe and the performance of the national players in the just concluded National Cricket League (NCL) apparently gave the selectors ample food for thought before picking the 14-member squad.
"I think it's not a very hard job to pick the team for the series because our target is not to focus on the best players, rather the right combination," said Alam.
He was also not too excited with the performance of the Tigers in the NCL as he believes that it's the national players' customary duty to excel above the other players in any domestic competition.
"It's not a big deal that they [national players] made the difference in the just concluded league, because they are enjoying the best facilities and opportunities compared to the others," he observed.
The question was however not with the announcement of the team. Rather, everybody was surprised that the board is dilly-dallying in selecting the captain with the World Cup only three months to go.
The board is apparently looking to fit-again Mashrafe but many believe that it would be highly risky for the team to give the demanding job again to the Narail Express.
In practical terms, Mashrafe may even have to fight to get back his place in the team first, because the other pacers have done a good job against New Zealand in the last one-day series. Many are even in favour of giving Mashrafe a break after one or two matches so that he can be fully fit before the World Cup.
It was learnt that the selectors are also in favour of giving the job to the world's number one all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who led the team brilliantly in Mashrafe's absence in the Tigers' 4-0 whitewash of the Black Caps, but chief selector Alam was not ready to comment on the issue.
"The board is the final authority to decide on this issue. Sometimes the board wants our opinion but they are yet to ask for any suggestion this time," said Alam.
-The Daily Star

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