The practice of Bangladesh National Squad runs in full swing in BKSP

Shahryar Khan

July 23, 2001

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Bangladesh is getting the opportunity to play three more Tests with its neighbouring nations in the Asian Test Championship, which starts from the end of August, this year. In Multan, Pakistan, they are going to take on their first match with the hosts. It is noticeable that our team will finish all three matches in overseas grounds. Playing abroad is not that worrisome for Bangladesh, as they had experienced it already in Zimbabwe. And though they were defeated in both Tests, they fought well, especially in the last one when they managed to hang on to the fifth day.

In Zimbabwe, the batsmen were seen struggling against the rising deliveries of the Zimbabwean quickies, because those pitches always spoke for seam bowlers. The Asian Test Championship matches might be different ones. The pitches of our sub-continent are spin-friendly and slow as well. The track in Multan possibly will give some trouble and the Pakistani fast bowlers are quite formidable too. But in the other two countries, Bangladesh will have to prepare for the aggression of the Indian and Sri Lankan spinners.

After the Zimbabwe tour in April 2001, the squad had no option to relax. The hard and cumbersome practice sessions are going on in the serene surroundings in BKSP under coach Trevor Chappell. The sixteen-member team has been declared by now. It is not surprising that the side is teeming with batsmen, as it is obvious that Bangladesh would play for a draw. Four pacers are included and one left-arm off spinner has been considered. Among others, the skipper can bowl right-arm off-spin and Md. Ashraful is capable of bowling leg-spin, even though he is more reputed as a dashing opening batsman.

We can spot a new face in the list, Anwar Hossain, who is a reputed wicket keeper in the domestic league. Bangladesh faced a lot of trouble in Zimbabwe when wicket keeper Khaled Masud received a severe injury, which appeared to be a big blow for the country. Batsman Mehrab Hossain who has little reputation as a part-time wicket keeper covered the rest of the first test and the second one. So, the country does not want to repeat the history and this is the secret of the inclusion of a second regular wicket keeper into the squad.

The members of the team are often found working out in the BCB gym. This gymnasium has been temporarily set in the second dressing room of BNS ground, where most of the players start coming from morning to run through weight training. They have a single day for recreation in the whole week; usually they spend it with their family members.

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