Bangladesh aim for place in second round

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful and coach Jamie Siddons are aiming for a place in the second round of the Asia Cup with a win over UAE, on June 24, the opening day of the tournament, in Lahore.

"Definitely we want to win against UAE and better our Asia Cup records," Ashraful said. "If we don't go for the win, we won't be in the second round but I am sure we will make it."

Bangladesh first played the Asia Cup in 1988, but didn't win a single game till 2004, where they got their only win against Hong Kong, who feature in the tournament this year as well.

Siddons said he expected his team to play really well in the second round. "I have seen some great signs in the batsmen on individual basis. But as far as putting all of that together, the players haven't done it yet. The bowlers must deliver better performances because that is one problem.

"Whether we will win after the first round I am not sure, But I am looking forward to putting our best game together as far as batting is concerned and a much better show in bowling." Bangladesh are in group A along with UAE and Sri Lanka. They are scheduled to arrive in Pakistan on Saturday.

Ashraful said he will play aggressive cricket if there was a need to do that. "I have played to the situation in the tri-series [Kitply Cup] too and I will do the same in Pakistan from where I bat. It is necessary to play that role in that No. 3 role." Bangladesh lost to India and Pakistan in the Kitply Cup but Ashraful managed an unbeaten half-century in opening game against Pakistan. "We could not take 100% advantage of those [Dhaka] pitches but yes, Lahore and Karachi have very good wickets and we hope to utilise it."

Meanwhile MA Latif, a member of the Bangladesh board's (BCB) executive committee, decided to resign from his post for personal reasons. "He has submitted the resignation letter to the BCB president Sina Ibn Jamali," Sajjadul Alam, the chairman of the board's media committee, told the Daily Star, a Dhaka daily. Latif had worked as the team manager before he was appointed chairman of the games development committee.