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October 5, 2001
Exactly thirty days are left before Zimbabweans are arriving in Bangladesh to carry out two Tests and three ODI with the hosts. In April, when Bangladesh departs Harare with two defeats in their bag - we were not utterly downhearted. Even many of us appreciated the way this milksop of Test cricket played against their eight-year seniors on their first away tour.
But the scenario has changed a lot when everyone was expecting something outstanding from Bangladesh from their Asian Test Championship tour and was disillusioned abruptly. Except for the second innings in Colombo, the team failed to present any mark of progress. On the contrary it looked they had lost the skill they put on show in Zimbabwe.
However, there was a single excuse that could be singled out - Bangladesh squad were deprived of ample practice matches before take on Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
We are watching that practice matches are washed away with the rain every now and then. The weather is still unpredictable; therefore, there are chances more matches might be abandoned. Then there is a veritable possibility that is looming - lack of enough run through matches will bring another debacle against Zimbabwe. Is that so? The question is carried on the breeze.
All the squads from different ranks (National, Bangladesh-A, under-19, 17 & 15) are staying at BKSP to take preparative measures. The national team faces Zimbabwe, Bangladesh-A leaves for India on October 13 and Under-19 is going to Australia etc. Besides, the National League is going to be started from November. It is a busy itinerary and lots of cricket is waiting for our fans.
The members of the National Squad were seen toiling in the gymnasium the day before yesterday. They looked pretty serious about Zimbabwe. After four matches in unfamiliar tracks here comes the second opportunity to show their worth in front of the home crowd in recognizable pitches. All they have to do is to cash in on their lessons they received from their fresh tours.
Cricketers from the Bangladesh-A team are avidly waiting for the tour of India. Mohammed Rafique, the left arm off-spinner, who is out of the national pool list, will be giving his best to get his position back in Bangladesh squad. In the last practice match he bowled splendidly taking five wickets to rip away the middle order of the National team. In that match Bangladesh-A triumphed over their seniors by 87 runs and Rafique played the pivotal part.
A good decision is made by the selectors to choose Mashrafee-Bin-Mortaza, more widely known as Kowshik for Bangladesh-A. This lad has all kinds of potentialities to become a genuine fast bowler and he needs exposure. A six-feet Kowshik can bowl faster than anybody in this country right this moment.
While Kowshik plays in India his buddy Talha Jubair, another upcoming talent and a quick bowler, will be playing in Australia for Under-19.
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