Bangladesh's National Cricket Academy will tour Australia for five limited-overs matches as well as a three-day and a four-day fixture from August 27 to September 13. The teams they will face include Western Australia, Queensland and last year's domestic first-class champions Tasmania.
Mehrab Hossain jnr, the academy captain, was optimistic about the opportunities the tour would present his side. "We will face strong opponents and obviously we are going to play better [level of ] cricket than our domestic competitions," Hossain told the Daily Star, a Dhaka-based daily.
Khaled Mahmud, the academy coach and former Bangladesh captain, felt it was important to play cricket in a different environment. "I believe that our players can learn many things both on and off the field," he said. "There are a lot of questions about our technical skill at the highest level and we can take this opportunity to improve our technique."
But not everybody is convinced the tour is a positive step for Bangladesh cricket. Abdul Latif Khan, the chairman of the Bangladesh board's games development committee, said organising the tour was proving to be very costly for the board and was convinced a better, less expensive, tournament could have been arranged in the subcontinent. According to reports, the board is spending over eight million taka (US$116,449) on the tour.
"The new committee was not in a position to rethink the tour but I can assure you [the committee] will be careful about this kind of tour in future," Khan said.
The academy side will play two Twenty20 games and a limited-overs match against the national team on August 21 and 22 and leave for Australia the next day.
National Cricket Academy: Mehrab Hossain jnr (capt), Nasiruddin Faruque, Jahurul Islam, Imrul Kayash, Raqibul Hasan, Suhrawadi Shuvo, Sahgir Hossain (wk), Dolar Mahmud, Talha Jubair, Nazmul Hossain, Mahbubul Alam, Mosharraf Hossain, Dhiman Ghosh and Naeem Islam