May 14, 2001

Campbell's Diary: Reflections on the Bangladesh series

The dust has long settled on the Bangladesh Tour, and I have had the opportunity to take a 10 day break with my family on the Natal coast in South Africa. It was great to get away along with Andrew Flower, his wife and two children, put our feet up and relax, ahead of what is going to be an intense winter of cricket.

It was also a time to reflect on the Bangladesh Tour and come to the conclusion that, by and large, we accomplished what we set out to do which was to win and win well. Everybody managed to put their hand up at some stage and it was particularly pleasing to see Guy Whittall back in the runs and playing well after a bit of a lean patch. The selectors gave a few of the youngsters, namely Ebrahim, Blignaut, Watambwa and Nkala a run and they would have learnt from and enjoyed their first taste of International cricket. Blignaut in particular with five wickets on his debut, which is the best by a Zimbabwean bowler.

The Bangladesh team were good tourists and great ambassadors for their country. They had some very good individual performances. Manjural Islam's six wickets in the First Test and Javed Omar carrying his bat for 80 also in the First Test. It was the first time a debutant had done this for some 100 years - no mean achievement.

As a team they were always thirsty for knowledge, keen to learn and enthusiastic in the field no matter what the state of the game. They improved with every outing and with a passion for the game and the sheer numbers of people that play the game in Bangladesh it will not be long, with the international exposure that they will be getting, before they bridge the gap that currently exists between themselves and the other Test playing nations. In my humble opinion I think that they will develop quicker than Zimbabwe has.

We start a training camp for the upcomming series against India shortly which will no doubt be more testing than the one just concluded. They look a rejuvenated outfit under John Wright and after their success against Australia will no doubt be confident. An interesting contest awaits - I can't wait for it to begin .