Coach wants Bangladesh to acclimatise for World Cup
Shane Jurgensen, the Bangladesh coach, wants most of his players to get accustomed to conditions in Australia and New Zealand well before the 2015 World Cup. He believes that players like Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal will be at their physical peak during the tournament, which would help the team try and make it to the second round.
Apart from an A team tour to the region, Jurgensen would like groups of players to take part in training sessions and tournaments in his native country. Bangladesh last visited New Zealand in 2010 for one Test, three ODIs and a Twenty20 while their previous trip to Australia in 2008 had only three ODIs. They have never won in either country in 20 games.
Bangladesh will play four matches in Australia and two in New Zealand in the 2015 World Cup. Jurgensen believes the conditions in those places won't be too hard. "The boys will be more evolved, have more experience in the next 18 months," Jurgensen told the Bengali newspaper Prothom Alo. "Most of them will be 26-27 or 28. They will also be at their physical peak. The venues won't be a big obstacle too. Wickets are good at the Gabba, in Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hamilton and Nelson.
"We will try to send an A team to Australia, and send players to play different tournaments there. Tamim and Shakib can easily play in the Big Bash, while some can play club or grade cricket. We could send four or five pace bowlers to train in Queensland. We have former Bangladesh coach Stuart Law, who is now at the Centre of Excellence. We also have [trainer] Stuart Karpinnen and [academy head coach] Richard McInnes working here in Bangladesh, so we can work something out."
Jurgensen put particular significance on Bangladesh's performance in global events like the 50-over World Cup, because it is in these tournaments that the world fully notices the country's progress in the game. Apart from that, he would like to end his two-year stint with discernible improvement on the field as well as in the numbers.
"Their improvement should be visible on the field, and in their rankings. I would like to see them rise in the ODI and Twenty20 rankings. Draw and win Tests and do well in global events. The cricketing world will see our improvement. So it is very important that we cross the group stages of the 2015 World Cup. I think we can."
The 37-year-old Jurgensen said he was a supporter of keeping things calm in the dressing room rather than flying off the handle after the team loses. "There's already a lot of pressure in international cricket so I don't want to be an angry headmaster and put more pressure on them. I have always wanted to create an environment or pass on the message to the guys that at least before, during and just after the match, there will be no anger in the dressing-room.
"It is important that there is consistency in behaviour, similar to on-field consistency. I like to be tough with them for a reason, so that they realise it is not a personal attack."
Having been the head coach since November 2012, Jurgensen said the Bangladesh players have faith in him. He was handed a two-year deal earlier this year, having held a temporary position after Richard Pybus' abrupt departure last year.
"I think I have gained their trust. It is important to understand them, because sometimes they can have a bad mood, have a bad day. Maybe their morning hasn't started too well or (they've) had some family problems. So the coach has to be a spy, a guru and sometimes a psychologist."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here