Former captain Habibul Bashar has urged the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to arrange cricket for players not involved in next month's Twenty20 World Championship. With Bangladesh's tour of New Zealand not until December, and with no domestic competition currently on, there is growing concern that the absence from action may affect fitness levels.
"For the first time in my career I have been enjoying such a long break from cricket. But in the end it would not be good for us," Bashar told The Daily Star. "Most of the players who are now out of the national camp are eagerly waiting to return. I think it would be nice for us if the board arranged a programme next month."
Only nine of the contracted 21 players are participating in training sessions for the Twenty20 World Championship. Several players have been active in commando training at the warfare wing of the Bangladesh Army's School of Infantry and Tactics in Sylhet, which includes running, rappelling, sliding and swimming. Next on the agenda is team practice in Dhaka.
Gazi Ashraf Hossain, the new chairman of the BCB's cricket operations committee, said he was aware of the fitness issue but was faced with a shortage of coaching staff. "I do agree that this contracted players desperately need some programme to keep in touch with cricket. Fitness is a big issue," he said. "Personally I am very keen to arrange a batting programme for them as you know it's a real headache in the longer-version competition.
"I will definitely try to arrange something for them in the next month but the problem is that we do not have enough coaching staff in our hand right at the moment. There is no national team coach and that's why we have to depend on our development manager and we also lack coaches in other sectors."
Hossain said he would discuss the matter with interim coach Shaun Williams.