Siddons upbeat about Bangladesh's future
Jamie Siddons has not been able to shut out the disappointment of watching Bangladesh crash out of the ICC World Twenty20 but is confident they will do better in the West Indies. Siddons said it was not easy to coach a side that lacked superstars but, like his new captain Mashrafe Mortaza, believed the upcoming tour would allow the players and management to turn a corner in terms of confidence and results.
"Bangladesh are a tough side to captain and coach as well. The captain does not have an Afridi to throw the ball to, doesn't have a Jayasuriya to go open the batting for him. No Malinga to bowl the last four overs. But we want to do well with whatever resources we have and I think this tour of West Indies is the time for it."
Bangladesh's next assignment is a short tour of the West Indies beginning next month, which includes two Tests, three ODIs and a Twenty20. Siddons felt the conditions would suit Bangladesh. "As I have seen in the past few home series of the West Indies the pitches have been flat and have turned from the third day onwards," he said. "It will suit our batsmen, medium-pacers and spinners, so there is plenty to look forward to on this tour."
Siddons minced few words after Bangladesh committed exactly the errors they knew they needed to avoid against Ireland in a knock-out game. Looking back Bangladesh's time in England - their only two wins on tour came during the warm-ups, against minnows Scotland and Netherlands - Siddons said a lack of international cricket beforehand was a factor.
"We did not play any international matches prior to the World Twenty20 and that's what went wrong in England. We had so little international match practice after the Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe series, which now feels like it's been ages," he said. "The ICC Future Tours Programme might give us fewer matches in the future but there will not be such yawning gaps between tournaments. I believe the situation won't work against us."
Mortaza, who replaced Mohammad Ashraful as captain, was positive ahead of his first assignment. "The first thing I said after becoming the captain is that we have a problem with our confidence level. It's not that we can't play at the international level, we have played Test matches for five days in the past and beaten international teams," he said. "However, there is no use dwelling on the past and I have spoken to the boys to believe in themselves and keep their confidence high throughout the tour.
"I know we haven't played well in the World Twenty20 and if we start playing well from the first match we will go into the first Test match with a good momentum. As the captain I want all of them to give their hundred per cent, win or loss comes secondary to it."
This is Bangladesh's first tour to the Caribbean since 2004, when they were beaten 1-0 in the Tests and 3-0 in the ODIs.