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April 6, 2006
There is huge anticipation in Bangladesh as the fans prepare for their chance to watch the star-studded Australian line-up. They still have treasured memories of the one-day international at Cardiff during the Natwest Series in 2005 when they beat Australia by five wickets. Only three of the current squad - Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Damien Martyn - have played in Bangladesh before.
The series is expected to be a sell-out, as were the recent matches against Kenya, and it is reported that some people are preparing to take TV sets to work so that they can watch the action.
Aminul Islam, the former Bangladesh batsman, who scored their first Test century against India in 2000, believes this current team could give Australia a scare. He told The Age newspaper: "Australia is the best team in the world but Bangladesh has been improving.
"We were competitive against Sri Lanka in the recent Test series and beat them in a one-day match. We have just swept the series against Kenya 4-0 and it shows that we are improving.
"In the Tests, realistically, the chance of a Bangladesh win is minimal, but in one-day cricket it's anyone's game. Australia are very experienced and always give 100 percent and will be relentless and ruthless, but the feeling is good in Bangladesh. The team is on a high and they will remember that they beat Australia last year."
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Cricket Board general secretary, Mahbubul Anam, added that he was misquoted about extra security arrangements for the Australians.
"I was misquoted in that report," he told the Daily Star. "We will take the same security measures we have taken against other visiting teams. And you all know that Australians are very friendly towards their fans so I think they will not deprive their fans here also."
Australia have been forced the make three changes to their original squad, with Phil Jaques, Jason Gillespie and Mitchell Johnson replacing Justin Langer, Michael Kasprowicz and Shaun Tait.
Bangladesh have recalled Mashrafe Mortaza, their leading seamer, after he was rested for the series against Sri Lanka. Mushfiqur Rahim, the Under-19 captain, has been omitted from the squad after making 2 and 0 in the second Test, against Sri Lanka, at Bogra. The first Test starts at Fatullah on April 9 followed by the second at Chittagong on April 16.
Bangladesh squad Habibul Bashar (capt), Javed Omar, Rajin Saleh, Mohammad Ashraful, Shahriar Nafees, Nafees Iqbal, Aftab Ahmed, Alok Kapali, Khaled Mashud (wk), Mohammad Rafique, Enamul Haque, Mashrafe bin Mortaza, Syed Rasel, Shahadat Hossain.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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