Bangladesh aim to topple Sri Lanka
Habibul Bashar, the Bangladesh captain, is hopeful that his side can pull off atleast one win over Sri Lanka in the three-match one-day international series starting today.
Sri Lanka have rested Marvan Atapattu, Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan, and Bashar is keen to try and exploit this. "It is not impossible because we have beaten several strong teams in the past, and now we can wish for a win against Sri Lanka too," Bashar told BBC Sport.
Dav Whatmore, the Bangladesh coach, echoed Bashar. "We are very confident coming into this match; we have an opportunity to start the year 2006 on a good note," he said. "On paper Sri Lanka have a little bit of inexperience in their bowling department without Murali and Vaas." Whatmore was at the helm of affairs when Sri Lanka won the 1996 World Cup in historic fashion. Both coach and captain cited the absence of Vaas and Muralitharan as a blow to Sri Lanka's bowling attack, with only inexperienced bowlers remaining.
Mahela Jayawardene, captaining Sri Lanka for the tour to Bangladesh, insisted that there was little added pressure on him. "I don't think leading Sri Lanka is that much of a pressure," he said. "We've got some really talented youngsters, so hopefully we can give them some exposure. We have not played Bangladesh for quite a while and we are very much looking forward to this tour."
All 18,000 tickets have been sold for the first international at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra, 100 miles north-west of Dhaka.