Bangladesh cricket July 28, 2008

'Lack of quality bowlers in the pipeline' - Ashraful

Cricinfo staff

Nazmul Hossain has impressed Bangladesh's chief selector © Getty Images

Mohammad Ashraful, the Bangladesh captain, has highlighted the paucity of quality bowlers emerging in the country. While the focus of late has generally been on the batting, Ashraful said that didn't mean the bowlers were equipped to deal with international cricket.

"During practice we mainly concentrate on our batting and there was no exception this time because it's our main problem in the international cricket but that doesn't mean we are in a comfortable position with our bowling," Ashraful told the Daily Star. The Bangladesh team have been preparing at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur for their upcoming international assignments - the four-nation Twenty20 tournament in Toronto and the three-ODI series in Australia.

"I think we have lack of quality bowlers in the pipeline," he said. "There are few names who many believe can be good in the international cricket but the performance of Dolar Mahmud simply gave us the impression how different the international cricket is." Dolar, who made his debut during the Kitply Cup in June, has struggled in his four ODI outings so far, conceding 165 runs in 17.1 overs for his three wickets.

Rafiqul Alam, Bangladesh's chief selector, admitted there was a problem. "I think this is the area where we need more attention," Alam said. "And that's why our specialist bowling coach is specially working with our two frontline pace bowlers [Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Shahadat Hossain]. Without any doubt we have lack of quality bowlers in the pipeline but we have to work with them who are now available. The absence of Shakib [Al Hasan] and Syed Rasel was felt in the last one-day tournaments."

Injuries have meant Rasel has been in and out of the Bangladesh team this year, and he was recently ruled out for at least another two months. The return of Shakib is definitely encouraging for us as his ten overs in the middle is very vital for us but the latest injury of Rasel was a setback."

Bangladesh's preliminary 21-man squad for their forthcoming assignments includes Nazmul Hossain, the 20-year-old fast bowler. "I think Nazmul is bowling well and he can be a good option for us," Alam said. Nazmul was part of the Bangladesh A team that toured England, and took 5 for 90 against Warwickshire.

Alam said the team will be named before August 4, but said the selectors were yet to decide whether to name one team for both the Twenty20 tournament and the Australia tour. The Twenty20 tournament, also featuring hosts Canada, Pakistan and West Indies, is from August 14 to 17, followed by the ODI series in Darwin between August 31 and September 6.