Auckland easily beats Bangladesh

Friday, December 21, 2007

The Auckland cricket side has beaten Bangladesh by seven wickets in a one day game in Auckland.

The tourists were bowled out for 242 in the 48th over and Auckland reached the wining target with four overs to spare.

On Sunday Bangladesh will play a Twenty/20 game against a New Zealand Eleven in a World Vision Cyclone Relief match in Hamilton

Auckland 243 for 3 (Jones 85*, Guptill 59) beat Bangladeshis 242 (Tamim 104) by seven wickets

3 SL greats agree to play

The Bangladesh Cricket Board’s plan to assemble the Asian greats in Dhaka for a charity match to help the Sidr victims gained momentum when at least three former Sri Lankan cricketers confirmed their participation, said an official on Wednesday.
‘Arjuna Ranatunga, Aravinda de Silva and Romesh Kaluwitharana have confirmed that they will be coming to play in the match,’ said an official, closely working to host the match in January.
The BCB has entrusted event management company Riz Events to hold the match between Asian legends and former Bangladeshi cricketers and the official said they have made significant progress.
Initially, the match was planned to take place on December 28 at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, but for obvious reasons it has been shifted to January 11. The new date could also be changed subject to availability of the former greats.
‘Some of the greats we have invited will be in the commentary box during the upcoming Test series between India and Australia and thus it will become very difficult to get them for the match. However, there is a gap from January 6 to 16 in the series, so we hope at least a few people will come,’ said the official asking not to be name.
‘Among the Indians Dilip Vengsarkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Mohammad Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja and Sandeep Patil have been invited, but none have confirmed their participation. Gavaskar has already regretted and the others have promised to inform us of their availability shortly,’ said the official.
‘From Pakistan Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Javed Miandad, Mudassar Nazar and Shoaib Mohammad have been invited for the match,’ said the official hoping that they will be able to give details of the match to the media on December 26.
Meanwhile, the ICC has regretted to host any charity match for the Sidr victims with the current international players, but said it would donate $2.5 lakh to the relief fund of chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed.
An ICC official is expected to hand over the money to the Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful in Hamilton on Sunday, when the Tigers will play a charity Twenty20 match against Stephen Fleming-led New Zealand XI.

U-19s clinch series

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Shubhashis Roy’s devastating bowling enabled Bangladesh U-19 team to clinch the one-day series 3-1 against the Sri Lanka U-19 side as the hosts beat the visitors by 49 runs in the 4th one-dayer at the Narayanganj Osmani Stadium on Monday.
Shubhashis’ five-wicket haul for 24 runs in 10 overs helped bundle Sri Lanka out for 118 in 36.5 overs after the hosts posted a moderate 167 for all in 48 overs. Shubhashis was adjudged man of the match for his bowling heroics.
For Bangladesh, top-order Nasir Hossain top-scored with 46 runs off 69 balls that featured eight fours while middle-order Marshal Ayub remained unbeaten on 42. Nadimuddin contributed 41 off 55 balls with six boundaries.
NM Kavikara took three wickets for 22 runs while Rajapaksha claimed two wickets for 27 runs.
Opener Dilshan Munaweera scored 40 off 29 balls hitting seven boundaries and his partner Dinesh Lokuge added 25.
Nasir Hossain, skipper Sohrawardy Shuvo and pacer Dollar Mahmud took one wicket apiece.
Both sides will face off in the 5th and last one-day match on Wednesday at the same venue.

Sajidul replaces injured Rasel

Uncapped left-arm pacer Sajidul Islam was called up to replace injured pacer Syed Rasel in the Bangladesh squad in New Zealand, the Bangladesh Cricket Board said on Monday.
Rasel has been ruled out of the tour games after dislocating his left collar bone while fielding in the warm-up match against Northern Knights, which Bangladesh lost by seven wickets in Hamilton.
‘The decision was unanimous. It did not require a long discussion to name Sajidul as a replacement of Rasel. He is very much similar to Rasel and also has been in a very good form,’ said chief selector Rafiqul Alam.
Sajidul, the leading wicket-taker in the ongoing National Cricket League with 36 wickets in eight matches, will fly to New Zealand on Tuesday. He will be accompanied by selector Naimur Rahman.
Rasel on the other hand will most likely fly to Australia from New Zealand for a surgery, said chief selector Rafqul, though the BCB has yet to confirm the extent of his injury officially.
‘Rasel was examined by an orthopaedic surgeon in Hamilton today (Monday) and the specialist’s report is expected tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. He will undergo further investigation and treatment before a final assessment on his injury condition is made,’ said, the official website of the BCB.
Bangladesh will play their second warm-up game of the tour today, this time against the State Northern Knights at Seddon Park in Hamilton. Being handicapped by the injury to Rasel, Bangladesh have been forced to bring changes for the match, the website reported.
Besides Rasel, who is unlikely to return to action soon, batsman Tushar Imran will also sit out the game with a sore left shoulder, though his injury is not that much serious. Tushar, whose left arm is on a sling at the moment, is expected to be fit ahead of the Twenty20 match against New Zealand on December 23.
The Tigers, who will again field 12 players in the warm-up game, might also rest pace spearhead Mashrafee bin Murtaza. It means, Javed Omar, Mehrab Hossain Junior and Shahadat Hossain, who all missed the first warm-up match, will have their chances to play the game.
Bangladesh play the first of three one-dayers against the Kiwis on Dec 26. They will also play two Tests next month.

Bangladesh U/19 won the third match

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Another win for Bangladesh under 19..Now they are leading the series 2-1


BD U-19 Vs SL U-19
BD U-19 203/10 Over -49.3; Nadimuddin 66, Nasiruddin 41, Ashraful 26, Marshall 24; Pathirana 4/43

SL U-19 159/10 Over -45.3; Zenith 47, Priris 29, Pathirana 28; Dollar 3/24, Nasiruddin 2/9, Shakib 2/38

Bangladesh Under-19 won by 44 runs (Venue-SCS; Toss-BD U19; MOM-Nasiruddin; Date-15 December 2007)

SL U-19s level series

The visiting Sri Lankan Under-19 team levelled the five-match limited-overs series 1-1 when they defeated their local counterparts at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra on Friday.
Batting first, the visitors were all out for 165 in 48.5 overs with Rubel Hossain and Mahmudual Hasan taking three wickets apiece for the Bangladesh U-19s, who later were dismissed for 151.
Marshal Ayub fought alone with the Lankan bowlers with a brisk 90, but the other batsmen failed to give him adequate support. Sri Lanka’s Fernando and Pathirana each bagged four wickets giving away 20 and 25 runs respectively. The third match of the series will be held today at the same venue.

Bangladesh Started Net Practice

Getting used to a sleeping routine is the first adjustment the Bangladesh team has to make here. Hamilton is seven hours ahead of Dhaka and by the time the eyes start getting dozy all of a sudden you realise that it’s time to train.
The Tigers practised in two groups on Friday. The first group of players left their hotel by the Waikato River for Seddon Park at 9:20am local time (2:20am BST) while the second followed an hour and a half later and most of them spoke of some degree of difficulty getting a decent sleep the night before. But training can’t wait and there were three separate nets, one with the new Bola bowling machine the Tigers have carried to New Zealand, at Seddon Park’s practice area ready for the batsmen. Also there were local net bowlers some of whom may feature in the Northern Districts team that will play two practice games on Sunday and Tuesday against the tourists.
‘The practice wickets are good. They are a bit on the slower side but have even bounce,’ said Aftab Ahmed after his first hit in the nets.
‘I pulled a lot of deliveries today and it felt pretty good because the timing was there and balls were hitting the right areas of the bat. If the centre wickets are similar in character then we should not have too many problems adjusting,’ said all-rounder Sakib al Hasan who also found a bit of turn while bowling his left-arm spinners.
The pacers too enjoyed the natural zip when balls pitched on a length. There was also fielding drill side by side with the nets and after lunch the day’s programme rounded off with a gym session.
The weather in Hamilton has been warm lately, unlike the southern parts of the country and the skies are expected to stay clear over the weekend which means Bangladesh’s first warm-up game on Sunday is not under any direct threat from elements.
Today the team will train at Seddon Park from 1:55pm and later in the afternoon the team for the practice match is expected to be named.

Siddons sees improvement

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Tigers played another practice match yesterday under simulated conditions for their coming tour to New Zealand a session in which the new national coach found slight improvements of his charges.

"Of course they are still not perfect but there have been some improvements in the batting from the first match. Our main objective is to see the batsmen not getting out and batting for as long as possible in the middle," said Jamie Siddons, who has preached a slogan of 'improvement everyday'.

The Australian sounded positive after working with his new charges for the last few days as the batsmen apparently looked better in comparison with the first game despite the pace bowlers lively performance with the ball.

Leading paceman and vice-captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza however missed the opportunity to bowl in the second game as he was rested due to a breathing problem.

After a day's break the Tigers will have their last session at home tomorrow.

The 15-member one-day side led by ace batsman Mohammad Ashraful will fly for New Zealand on December 12.

The Bangladesh team will play three limited-over warm-up games and a charity Twenty20 match before involving in a three-match one-day series. Ashraful's men will play two Tests in January next year.

Tigers ready for all

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The ICC Twenty20 World Cham-pionships are already underway and the Bangladesh team gets going today believing that anything and any result is possible.

Their opening match against the West Indies at the Wanderers is as crucial as cricket games come, especially for the West Indies who must win to stay in the competition. Victory for Bangladesh on the other hand would ensure they are not catching an early flight back home and a chance for more heroics in the Super Eight stage.

The match starts at 2pm Bangladesh Standard Time.

The Tigers trained for three hours at the Wanderers in the morning and it was a relief for captain Mohammad Ashraful that those nursing injuries all came out okay from the practice.

Tamim Iqbal, who has a moderate fracture on his left index finger batted and fielded without any noticeable discomfort and key spinner Abdur Razzak also showed no side effects from a strapped left hamstring and was his usual self while bowling.

Yesterday was Razzak's only second practice session following the muscle strain suffered during the warm-up game against Scotland on September 8.

"It is very good that we had all the players fit for selection for this important match. We have had a nice preparation phase leading up to this competition and now the real game begins and we have to be at our full strength," said Ashraful.

Bangladesh have left out Nadif Chowdhury, Mahmudullah Riyad, Junaed Siddique and Ziaur Rahman from the starting line up. Nadif will be the 12th man. Tamim and his prolific Chittagong partner Nazimuddin will open the batting with Aftab Ahmed, Ashraful, Shakib Al Hasan and Alok Kapali completing the top order.

"All our preparation has been directed towards this moment. I have been scoring runs in the warm-up matches and hopefully that will continue. I have faced the Pakistan attack that I consider among the best in the world and that has given me a lot of confidence. But in Twenty20 you cannot say that this is a good bowling side and this is not. The West Indies are experienced in this form of the game but I will play my natural game," said Nazimuddin who has top-scored for the Tigers in three out of their five warm-up matches.

The Bangladesh side watched the opening match of the tournament popularly called T20 here at the Wanderers on Tuesday afternoon and felt the amazing atmosphere.

Sitting in the stands side by side with the colourful multicultural and diverse crowd was an occasion to behold. The packed Wanderers roared to every South African wicket taken or run scored and at every overs break groups of dancers would delight the crowd by getting on stages made for them and move their bodies to the beat of the booming music. They also saw West Indies score 205 batting first thanks to the first T20 century by a rampaging Chris Gayle and yet his team losing with nearly three overs to spare.

"Obviously Gayle is their key batsman. But we are not targetting any particular player. In T20 you may get a major player out early but then someone else might turn up the heat when you least expect. All the players in their side are good cricketers and we are a good team also. We just have to play our natural game and stay focused in all three departments. The outfield at the Wanderers is like a carpet so balls will come fast. So the fielders also have be on their toes all the time," said Ashraful.

Mohammad Ashraful (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Nazimuddin, Aftab Ahmed, Shakib Al Hasan, Alok Kapali, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (Vice Captain), Farhad Reza, Mushfiqur Rahim (wicketkeeper), Abdur Razzak, Syed Rasel. 12th man: Nadif Chowdhury.

Mashrafe cautions Tigers

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bangladesh vice-captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza served a warning for his teammates to learn from the mistakes of their disappointing six-wicket defeat to Kenya in the last ICC World Twenty20 warm-up game on Sunday.

"It is a very disappointing result and it should serve as a warning to us that we can not let our standards drop for even one moment. In this form of the game a match can be lost in the blink of an eye," the pace spearhead told the

But he still believed that the Tigers are very much capable to show better performance in the tournament proper which starts today.

"We know that we are a capable team with strong players and if everyone does his job then we can get a good result against the West Indies. That should be our priority and we have to learn from the wrongs in this match so that we don't repeat them again," he added.

Bangladesh will play their first match against West Indies on September 13 and take on hosts South Africa on September 15 in their last Group A encounter.

The Tigers, however, will desperately looking forward to see Abdur Razzak match-fit before the opening tie as the key left-arm spinner was nursing a minor strain on his left hamstring.

Razzak did not travel with the team to Benoni on Sunday as he underwent a rehabilitation programme designed by the team physio.

Tigers tamed

Monday, September 10, 2007

Bangladesh suffered a jolt just before the tournament proper when they crashed to Kenya by six wickets in the last warm-up game ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 Championship.

The brittle batting cost the loss at the Willowmoore Park in Benoni yesterday, which enabled the Kenyans not only to avenge their five-wicket defeat at home in a four-nation tune-up tourney last week but also snapped the Tigers' recent supremacy over them.

Since their 2003 World Cup defeat to Kenya, interestingly also on South African soil, Bangladesh won all their seven one-day internationals against the ICC associate members.

Kenyan skipper Steve Tikolo's decision to bowl first on a lively strip paid off when Mohammed Ashraful's men, who blew Scotland away in the first warm-up game on Saturday, were bundled out for 116 with twenty-two balls to spare.

The Bangladesh batting has had been all but a one man show in the last four build-up encounters with young opener Nazimuddin dazzling in an otherwise poor top-order show.

And the Chittagonian's quick dismissal for five runs meant his side succumbed to the lowest total in the ongoing Africa trip despite his opening partner Tamim Iqbal offered some resistance during his 56 off 41 balls that contained one six and eight boundaries.

Dashing left-hander Tamim, however, got no support from the other end as Aftab Ahmed was the second highest scorer with 17. Nadif Chowdhury was the other batsman to reach the double digit with 12.

The top order was even put to the test by a team like Uganda in Kenya, where Mashrafe Bin Mortaza's late rally rescued them but there was no such act in the match.

The form of skipper Ashraful was more frustrating as the right-hander continued his poor run scoring only one on the back of an unimpressive aggregate of 60 runs in the previous four games.

Thomas Odoyo dismissed big hitters Nazimuddin and Aftab to set the tone on way to take 2-21 and he was backed up by fellow right-arm pacer Nehemiah Odhiambo, who took 3-37.

Kenya batted sensibly to achieve the small target as the Obuya brothers -- David and Collins -- added 41 in eight overs for the opening wicket while Tikolo provided the acceleration during his 36 off 38 balls that helped his side reach home with one ball remaining.

Ashraful picked up two wickets for 19 runs.

Bangladesh will play their first match of the World Championship against West Indies on September 13 and hosts South Africa on September 15 in their final Group A encounter.

BANGLADESH: 116 all out in 16.3 overs (Tamim 56, Nazimuddin 5, Aftab 17, Ashraful 1, Shakib 2, Kapali 3, Nadif 12, Mushfiqur 2, Mashrafe 5, Forhad 3 not out, Rasel 4, extras 6; Odoyo 2-21, Odhiambo 3-37, Onyango 2-19, Bhudia 2-24).

KENYA: 117 for 4 in 19.5 overs (Obuya 21, C Obuya 16, Mishra 16, Tikolo 36, Odoyo 13 not out, Obanda 9 not out, extras 6; Rasel 1-22, Ashraful 2-19, Forhad 1-19).

Result: Kenya won by six wickets.

Toss: Kenya.

Nazim blows Scots away

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Young batsman Nazimuddin enhanced his reputation as an opener with a blazing half-century as Bangladesh recorded a comprehensive six-wicket victory against Scotland in an ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match at the SuperSport Park in Centurion yesterday.

The 22-year-old Chittagonian provided a rare instance of consistency for the Tigers in the lead-up to the tournament proper that begins on Tuesday when he smashed an unbeaten 74 to steer Bangladesh to 148 for 4 to overtake Scotland's 145-8 with four overs yet to be bowled.

The right-hander clobbered nine fours and three sixes during his 42-ball essay and his hometown partner Aftab Ahmed struck a run-a-ball 33 with the help of five sweetly timed boundaries.

Nazimuddin suddenly hogged the spotlight after he had been drafted into the playing eleven against Kenya in the four-nation tune-up tourney following a last moment injury of Shakib Al Hasan and the young batter made no mistake to take the opportunity with both hands.

He just carried his form from the Kenya tour where he started with a match-winning 43-run knock against the hosts and then played a magnificent 81-run innings against Pakistan to all but confirm his place in the playing eleven in the championship.

Chasing the decent Scottish total, Bangladesh lost their first wicket in the very first over when dashing left-hander Tamim Iqbal continued his poor showing with a 6-ball 8, but Aftab joined his divisional teammate Nazimuddin to ensure the comfortable victory.

The Chittagonian pair added 87 runs for the second-wicket stand to tear the Scotland attack apart.

Although captain Mohammad Ashraful (4) and fit-again Shakib (8) fell in quick succession, Alok Kapali remained not out on nine to see the Tigers home without any further damage.

Earlier, Scotland thrived on a well-paced 54 by Navdeep Poonia to put up a respectable total on the board after deciding to bat first. The 21-year-old right-hander, who played 14 one-day internationals, hit four boundaries and two sixes in his 43-ball innings before being trapped leg before wicket by Ashraful.

Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak caused the early damages by sharing the new ball with Syed Rasel as he sent back both openers with the scoreboard reading 20-2. Pace spearhead Mashrafe Bin Mortaza also captured two wickets but was too expensive giving away 42 runs in four overs.

Shakib claimed two for 28 runs.

The Tigers take on Kenya in the second and final warm-up match today.

Bangladesh won by 6 wickets

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Bangladesh beat Scotland- ICC world cup twenty20 warm-up match

Bangladesh won by 6 wickets (with 24 balls remaining)

SCO 145/8 Over -20 ; Poonia 54 (43), Hamilton 21(19); Razzak 6/2, Shakib 28/2, Mashrafe 42/2
BAN 148/4; Over - 16 ; Tamim 8 (6), Aftab 33 (27), Ashraful 4 (7), Shakib 8 (7), Nazimuddin 74* (42), Alok 9* (9); RT Lyons 2/21
BAN won by 6 wkts. (ICC World Twenty20 Warm-up match at Centurion in Pretoria; Date: 08 Sep 07 )

Tigers play Uganda today

Monday, September 3, 2007

When Bangladesh play their last game of the Quadrangular Twenty20 tournament against Uganda at the Gymkhana Club ground in Nairobi today, one batsman in the Tigers' rank will unwittingly walk in the middle to solve a riddle -- being consistent.

There were only a handful of instances when a Bangladeshi batsman performed consistently in an international meet. But young opening batsman Nazimuddin, who initially was not considered in the core group, suddenly comes to the fore.

The 22-year-old, who struck a match-winning 43 against Kenya and then flayed the likes of Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif for a scintillating 81 off 50 against Pakistan, now has a chance to finish the meet with flying colours provided he continues his rich vein of form against the lightweight Africans.

Included in the playing eleven in place of injured Shakib Al Hasan at the last moment, the right-hander so far grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

Although it is too early to say whether he would be able to solve the opening headache in the abridged version of the game, the way he paced his innings in the last two games gave the selectors ample food for thought.

Nazimuddin himself was quite confident to make a grade while recalling the contribution of former Bangladesh Under-19 coach Richard McInness behind his success.

“I was in the Bangladesh Under 19 team's pre-World Cup 2004 camp at the BKSP and it was like staying in hell. There was so much physical hardship for six months and I was close to breaking point,” recalls Nazim, in an interview with, who is one of the four players in the present national side from that class of 2004 under hard taskmasters McInness and fitness trainer Justin Cordy.

“One day we were taken for an ice-bath at 7 in the morning. It was winter and I had never experienced anything like standing inside a drum with ice up to the neck. I thought why don't they kill me instead,” Nazim says with a boyish smile.

“After the ice-bath there was another 40-minute ordeal at the swimming pool. When I got back to the dorm I called my mother on the phone and just asked her 'yu want to see your son alive or you want a cricket player?' and she could hear me weeping. She paused for a few seconds and then said in a steely voice, 'a son who is a cricket player'. I was so upset I did not call home for the next four weeks. Looking back, I guess if she had played the typical mom and told me to come back home then I would never have gone on to play international cricket,” the soft-spoken cricketer explained.

He admitted that the Australian coach changed his cricket philosophy.

There is no doubt Nazimuddin is set to perform in a bigger stage when Bangladesh head for ICC Twenty20 World Championship.

Mohammad Ashraful's men will leave the Kenyan capital on Thursday for Johannesburg to take part in the first-ever T20 World Championship where they have been pitted in Group A along with hosts South Africa and West Indies.

Bangladesh recorded a five-wicket victory over Kenya in the first game before going down fighting against a formidable Pakistan in the second game by 30 runs. Uganda on the other hand pulled off a stunning two-wicket victory against the hosts after a humiliating defeat against Pakistan.

Bangladesh have made one change for today's game, bringing in Nadif Chowdhury for Mahmudullah Riyad.

Shakib getting better

All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan's injured right index finger is showing signs of improvement.

Shakib, who is nursing an impact fracture, gripped a bat during the Tigers' training at the Nairobi Gymkhana without any discomfort and also took a few catches with a tennis ball yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Uganda team have won the heart of two full member countries in the tournament after their stunning two-wicket victory against Kenya.

During an official reception on Sunday, the Pakistan team declared that the man of the match prize won by Shahid Afridi and Imran Nazir in two matches will be given to the Ugandan side and Bangladesh also showed the same gesture by announcing that Nazimuddin's cheque of US $500 would go to Uganda.

Tiger Nazim ready to thrill

We’ve all heard about the valiant mothers who dedicate their loving sons to the service of the nation during wartimes and become a legend in their own rights, a model of selfless sacrifice. You can draw a parallel to that with Nazimuddin’s mom whose one strict stance three years ago has probably meant a shy, comfort-loving lad from Chittagong becoming the talk of the Twenty20 Tournament here.

“I was in the Bangladesh Under 19 team’s pre-World Cup 2004 camp at the BKSP (Bangladesh Institute of Sports) and it was like staying in hell. There was so much physical hardship for six months and I was close to breaking point,” recalls Nazim who is one of the four players in the present national side from that class of 2004 under hard taskmasters Richard McInness the coach and fitness trainer Justin Cordy.

“One day we were taken for an ice-bath at 7 in the morning. It was winter and I had never experienced anything like standing inside a drum with ice up to the neck. I thought why don’t they kill me instead,” Nazim says with a characteristic smile.

“After the ice-bath there was another 40-minute ordeal at the swimming pool. When I got back to the dorm I called my mother on the phone and just asked her ‘You want to see your son alive or you want a cricket player?’ and she could hear me weeping. She paused for a few seconds and then said in a steely voice, ‘a son who is a cricket player’. I was so pissed that I did not call home for the next four weeks. Looking back I guess if she had played the typical mom and told me to come back home then I would never have gone on to play international cricket.”

That Under 19 stint under McInness also changed the cricket philosophy of Nazim who admits being a soft kind of a boy. “Everyday during the pre-World Cup camp I wanted to get out. I was not used to so much training. Infact I was one of those you call Cadburys or chocolate types who didn’t like physical hardship. But because of that camp I believe I am here today in the national team and there are six or seven others from that team who are also around or have been around for a while. Guys like Aftab (Ahmed), Riyad (Mahmudullah), Nadif (Chowdhury) are in this squad and Rajib (Shahadat Hossain), Enamul (Haque Jr.) Nazmul (Hossain) and Nafis (Iqbal) have all played for the Bangladesh team. Now I train on my own also and work hard because I realize that the competition for places has got stronger and you have to maintain a certain level to stay here,” says Nazim.

For Nazim breaking into the national team took a bit longer than his other mates but he came through the ranks in the proper way. “I had started playing cricket early when I was 10-11 years old. I was there at Tapan Da’s coaching camp in Chittagong where Nafis and Tamim (Iqbal) also went.”

He did well in an under 16 tournament and then made the Chittagong Under 19 side. Some good performances there brought Nazim to the eyes of the national selectors and he was called up for the 30-man provisional squad for the 2002 Under 19 World Cup but wasn’t selected for the final team. He was then given a scope in the BCB’s Development Squad that played in the Dhaka Premier Division League in 2003-04 and hit seven half centuries in 11 innings and then appeared in the 2004 Under 19 World Cup in Dhaka.

Nazim’s run scoring continued in the Dhaka Premier Division League, National Cricket League where he made his maiden first class double hundred last year and for the Academy and A sides and finally after a string of impressive scores for the A Team and his club Abahani which lifted the Premier Division title this season, Nazim finally got his must cherished call-up to the national team for the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa. And then came an opportunity in the 20Twenty Tournament in Kenya which he grabbed with both hands. Shakib Al Hasan suffered a finger injury and had to be left out of the starting eleven for Bangladesh’s opening match against Kenya and Nazim was drafted in on the afternoon before the game.

On his international 20Twenty debut the 22-year-old top-scored with a 37-ball 43 in a man-of-the-match performance against Kenya. Next day he faced the world’s fastest bowler Shoaib Akhter. The first ball was a wide, the second was pulled in a flash and it disappeared to the square leg boundary quicker than it left Shoaib’s hand. What followed was an exhibition and the crowd that had warmed up to the Pakistanis was now deriving pleasure out this five feet four inch Bangladeshi dynamite. Anything slightly short and Nazim was in position already picking the spot to dispatch the ball. A short-arm pull almost crashed into the Hummer jeep placed beyond the widish midwicket boundary, a hook sailed over the green mound but the best one was the flick against Shoaib that would be a six at the largest cricket ground in the world.

Bangladesh were in the game and well on course to chasing down the target of 192 as long as Nazim was there but when we was out for 81 made in 50 balls the challenge subsided. However, in the eyes of the spectators Nazim was the real winner on the day and even Pakistan supporters came and embraced him, took autographs and photos and told him how he had made their shillings worth. And Nazim is feeling at home.

“Before coming into the national team I thought there would be constant pressure but it is not like that at all. The guys are so friendly and most are about my age and I have known some of them for years. The team atmosphere is excellent. Having Shaun (Williams) as coach also helped because he was my coach in the A Team and we know each other well and for me it has almost felt like playing for the A side. The on the field experience has been fantastic also. After taking on Shoaib and scoring against him comfortably I have more confidence because there is no one who would bowl quicker at me,” said Nazim.

His style is so typical of the way the boys from Chittagong bat but what’s their secret? “I don’t know,” Nazim shrugs. “It’s a natural thing maybe. We don’t do much running or fielding in Chittagong,” he says with a sheepish grin. “We go straight to the nets and bat, bat and bat. The fact that we are strong players of the pull and hook shots may come from practising those strokes on concrete pitches. I don’t know about Aftab or Tamim but I actually hit hundreds of pull shots when I train. I used to be more aggressive but now I can adjust. If the situation demands I know how to leave deliveries and stay at the wicket but 20Twenty is different.”

Nazim’s antics at the Bangladesh Army’s Commando School (SI & T), where the squad had a 7-day physical and mental conditioning camp as part of their preparation, are still a cause for much amusement among team mates. His mild proclamation in the most un-commando voice ‘Tiger Nazim ready to jump’ and then nervous movement back and forth on the plank before finally a plunge on to the lake water a mere ten feet below is in stark contrast to the bludgeoning marauder at the wicket. And he is winning admirers not only in the team but also among the lucky ones who have seen him in action. So who does he admire?

“Aftab. Not because we come from the same city and not just for his cricket but all round. He is my favourite player for his astonishing natural ability and he is an amazing person. I admire everything about him.”

Nazim's bravery goes in vain

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Pakistan (191/7) beat Bangladesh (161/7) by 30 runs
Opener Nazimuddin scored a brave 81 off 50 balls, but that was not enough to prevent Bangladesh from conceding a 30-run defeat against Pakistan in the Twenty20 warm-up tournament at the Nairobi Gymkhana Club ground on Sunday.
Set a target of 192, Bangladesh gave Pakistan a befitting reply with Nazimuddin, playing only his second match, holding one end up without allowing the run rate to reach untouchable height.
However, wickets fell in the end at regular intervals as no other batsmen managed to give him any support. Tamim Iqbal (1), Aftab Ahmed (5) and Mohammad Ashraful (7) left in quick succession before Alok Kapali gave some hope with 19 runs off 11 balls.
As soon as Nazim, who smashed eight fours including three in a row off Mohammad Asif and five sixes, went with Bangladesh still needing 64 runs in six overs, the match swung in Pakistan�s favour.
Still Bangladesh could have won had Mashrafee bin Murtaza lived up to his big-hitting ability. But he managed only 10 off 14 when the need of the hour was completely the opposite.
Earlier, a 76-run opening partnership between Salman Butt and Imran Nazir and some lusty hitting by Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi enabled Pakistan to score 191.
Asked to bat first by Mohammad Ashraful, the Pakistan openers made their intentions very clear from the ball one. The Bangladesh bowlers, especially Mashrafee, were bent upon bowling short and were dealt with severely.
Pakistan were also helped by some sloppy work in the field, Bangladesh dropped as many as four catches, three off them coming from the bat of Nazir. He was dropped off the fifth ball of the match and also again in the second and eighth over.
Nazir was eventually run out after hitting 49 off 29 balls. Skipper Mohammad Ashraful gave the Tigers the much-needed breakthrough in the eighth over inflicting the run out.
Ashraful was easily the busiest man for Bangladesh on the field as he took highest three wickets including a brace in the final over. Ashraful, who conceded 42 runs in four overs, also took a catch.
The introduction of spin slowed Pakistan�s progress and also accounted for Butt�s dismissal who was cleaned up by Ashraful for 33. Shoaib Malik lasted only six deliveries scoring 10. His dismissal, however, brought crowd-favourite Shahid Afridi to the crease who blasted 32 off 18 deliveries.
Afridi broke the shackles after being dropped by Ferhad Reza at midwicket on two. His ruthless batting after Younis� dismissal (48 off 25 deliveries) gave the Pakistan bowlers a solid platform to work with.
Farhad Reza bore the burnt of Afridi�s bat as the all-rounder conceded maximum 55 runs for Bangladesh, though he got two wickets. But Ashraful repeatedly reposed his faith in him and surprisingly did not try his one bowling option in Mahmudullah Riyad.
In the other match of the day Uganda upset hosts Kenya with a two-wicket win.

Tigers ease to victory

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Opener Nazimuddin and skipper Ashraful guided Bangladesh to victory over hosts Kenya in the second match of the Twenty20 Quadrangular at Nairobi, Kenya on Saturday.
Chasing 139 with the required run rate of 6.90 per over Bangladesh cruised to a five-wicket win with 2.2 overs to spare.
Batting first, Kenya scored 138 for seven in the stipulated 20 overs. Tamim Iqbal and Nazimuudin, the Chittagong opener duo, scored 22 for the first wicket with Tamim departing on 11 off 12 balls.
Aftab Ahmed played a belligerent innings of 17 runs off just six balls. After the departure of Aftab, Nazimuddin and Ashraful continued to dominate the scene. Nazimuddin scored 43 from 32 balls hitting three fours and two sixes while Ashraful chipped in with 36 off 20 balls with four boundaries and one six.
The finishing touch was given by Alok Kapali who remained not out on 17 and Mashrafee bin Murtaza who was unbeaten on 7.
Peter Ongondo grabbed two wickets for 21 runs while Thomas Odoyo, Lamack Onyango and Jimmy Kamande took apiece.
Earlier, Ashraful won the toss and opted to field first. Mashrafee gave the team an early break sending back opener Jesani for one and David Obuya, who was looking dangerous hitting 23 off 19 balls.
One down Tanmoy Misra and experienced campaigner Steve Tikolo produced a 52 runs in the third-wicket stand to steady the ship. Tanmoy Misra scored 38 off 41 balls and Tikolo made 24 off 22 balls.
Another experienced name Thomas Odoyo clubbed 22 off 13 balls and Collins Obuya hit 14 not out off 10 balls.
Bangladesh bowlers tried to maintain a tight line and length in the closing overs and succeeded to dislodge Kamande, Bhudia and Onyango for 6, 0 and 4 to stop the Kenya on 138.
Mashrafee scalped two for 29, Abdur Razzak took two for 22 and Farhad Reza conceded 34 runs in his four overs to grab two wickets.
Ashraful got the prize wicket of his counterpart Steve Tikolo but gave away 32 runs in his four-over spell.
Bangladesh meet Pakistan today in their second match

Shakib misses first game

Cricket rarely makes the headlines in the Kenyan media unless something out of the ordinary happens and with the world championship of athletics taking place in Osaka the Twenty20 tournament involving Bangladesh, Pakistan, Uganda and the hosts that get underway today is at best a low-key affair. For Bangladesh there is already a problem with key all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan ruled out with a finger injury.

“Shakib has an impact fracture on his right index finger,” said team physio Azmal Ahmed. The 20-year-old suffered the injury while playing a Twenty20 match in practice on Thursday.

There are a few posters here and there at the Nairobi Gymkhana with a Mohammad Ashraful hook shot in prominence but there is hardly any fanfare. But the local cricket buffs will be here in numbers today, that's guaranteed.

In the morning they get to see the Pakistanis take on Uganda with the match starting at 9:30 am local time (12:30pm Bangladesh Standard time) and then the much anticipated battle between the Tigers and Kenya from 2pm (5pm BST).

The Bangladesh side has had a fruitful preparation leading up to this competition which is the start of the warm-ups for the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa in a couple of weeks time.

“It will be an ideal build-up for the Twenty20 World Championship.

The conditions here are pretty similar to South Africa and we have good sides to play against. Kenya will be especially tough at home while Pakistan are a world-class team,” said Tigers skipper Mohammad Ashraful at the pre-tournament media briefing.

The weather here has been on the cooler side, typical English conditions, and the sun has not been seen throughout the day. The rain however has stayed away.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

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Harmer interview today

The Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) quest to find a new foreign coach for the national team gained momentum with John Harmer's arrival in Dhaka yesterday morning.

The senior Australian coach faces the BCB officials with a presentation for the position of national team coach at the board headquarters in Dhaka this morning.

Former Zimbabwe captain David Houghton, now in the UK, is next in line but his arrival would be confirmed once he gets the British passport.

Cricket Operations Committee chairman Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu informed yesterday that the board has been in communication with Houghton, who would make his travel plans after September 10, when he is likely to receive his passport.

Coach Jamie Siddons who is currently touring India with an Australian selection, will probably be the last in line.

Former national captains Roquibul Hassan, Lipu, coach Jalal Ahmed Chowdhury, Ishtiaque Ahmed and Lt Col (retd) MA Latif Khan will be in the coach selection panel.

The 65-year-old Harmer, who is currently working at the Australian academy, said upon arrival at the Zia International Airport that his knowledge of Bangladesh cricket is limited to what he has seen so far on television.

Harmer was appointed England women's coach in July 2001 and left them two years later having helped them to be the second best team in the world, behind Australia, whom he led to three World Cup finals in his eight years from 1992-2000. That included winning the World Cup in India in 1997, and he was made a finalist for Australian Coach of the Year Awards the following year.

His qualifications include Level 3 Australia Cricket coaching certificate, diploma of physical education, bachelor of education, secondary teacher's certificate, higher diploma of teaching.

He has published considerable research on biomechanics and coaching, including biomechanics in physical education in 1971, cricket biomechanics in 1989, bowling - techniques of error detection and correction in 1993 plus a CD on wicketkeeping, fielding and batting.

His previous appointments include sports science and medicine advisory group for the then ACB, national pace bowling program, sub-committee ACB, coach for pace Australia, consulting biomechanist for ACB, NZCB and Victorian Institute of Sport.

Lipu added that that Harmer's interview is likely to continue on Saturday.

Queensland down NCA

Morning always does not show the day. Having won their tour opener down under, BCB National Cricket Academy (NCA) crashed to their second consecutive defeat yesterday.

Queensland Academy of Sport won the match by eight wickets as the visitors were bundled out for a paltry 81 in just 30.1 overs in the third game of the Australian trip, according to

The Queenslanders opted to field first on a green-top wicket in the Institute Challenge Cup match at Kahlin and their bowlers got the better of the Bangladeshi batsmen who failed to make most of a good bouncy track.

Only Jahurul Islam (16 off 39 balls) and Dollar Mahmud (14 off eight balls) reached the double figures with 24 sundries dominating the sorry scorecard.

Queensland coasted to 85- for two in 18.1 overs with both their first-class cricketers -- Andrew (28) and captain Kruger (23) -- remaining unbeaten. Nathan made 25.

The two Queensland wickets went to pacemen Talha Jubair (1-16) and Dollar (1-24).

The tourists will take on Australian Cricket Academy at the Marrara Oval today.

Tigers duo in contention

Test captains Ricky Ponting of Australia and Mahela Jayawardene of Sri Lanka were on Tuesday nominated in four categories for the 2007 International Cricket Council awards.

The winners will be announced at the ICC awards night to be held in Johannesburg on September 10, a day before the inaugural World Twenty20 Championship opens in South Africa.

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim were named in the shortlist for the Emerging Player award along side the likes of Australian pacemen Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Tait and New Zealand's exciting opener Ross Taylor.

Since his debut last year, Shakib has excelled both with bat and ball, especially in the one-day cricket. He has scored five half-centuries and a 134 not out against Canada. In the World Cup, his unbeaten 57 against England must be the best innings of his short career so far.

Rahim has had a tough time behind the stumps but his batting, especially in the World Cup, where his half-century against India enabled the historic 5-wicket victory in Trinidad.

Mohammad Asif (Pak), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI), Stuart Clark (Aus), Matthew Hayden (Aus), Michael Hussey (Aus), Mahela Jayawardene (SL), Zaheer Khan (Ind), Anil Kumble (Ind), Brian Lara (WI), Glenn McGrath (Aus), Muttiah Muralidaran (SL), Makhaya Ntini (SA), Monty Panesar (Eng), Kevin Pietersen (Eng), Shaun Pollock (SA), Ricky Ponting (Aus), Kumar Sangakkara (SL), Ryan Sidebottom (Eng), Shane Warne (Aus), Mohammad Yousuf (Pak).

Shane Bond (NZ), Mark Boucher (SA), Nathan Bracken (Aus), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI), Stuart Clark (Aus), Michael Clarke (Aus), Matthew Hayden (Aus), Michael Hussey (Aus), Mahela Jayawardene (SL), Jacques Kallis (SA), Brett Lee (Aus), Glenn McGrath (Aus), Muttiah Muralidaran (SL), Jacob Oram (NZ), Kevin Pietersen (Eng), Shaun Pollock (SA), Ricky Ponting (Aus), Yuvraj Singh (Ind), Mohammed Yousuf (Pak).

Ravinder Bopara (Eng), Shakib Al-Hasan (BD), Mitchell Johnson (Aus), Mushfiqur Rahim (BD), Shaun Tait (Aus), Ross Taylor (NZ), Chris Tremlett (Eng).

Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WI), Matthew Hayden (Aus), Michael Hussey (Aus), Mahela Jayawardene (SL), Jacques Kallis (SA), Glenn McGrath (Aus), Muttiah Muralidaran (SL), Kevin Pietersen (Eng), Ricky Ponting (Aus), Kumar Sangakkara (SL), Mohammed Yousuf (Pak).

Mahela Jayawardene (SL) and Ricky Ponting (Aus).

Ashish Bagai (Can), Andre Botha (IRL), John Davison (Can), Trent Johnston (IRL), Dwayne Leverock (Ber), Kyle McCallan (IRL), Tanmay Mishra (Ken), Eoin Morgan (IRL), Ashif Mulla (Can), Niall O'Brien (IRL), Thomas Odoyo (Ken), Peter Ongondo (Ken), Irving Romaine (Ber), Abdool Samad (Can), Ryan Doeschate (NED), Steve Tikolo (Ken), Hiren Varaiya (Ken), Ryan Watson (Sco).

Mark Benson (Eng), Steve Bucknor (WI), Daryl Harper (Aus), Simon Taufel (Aus).

Caitriona Beggs (IRL), Holly Colvin (Eng), Rumeli Dhar (Ind), Maria Fahey (NZ), Jhulan Goswami (Ind), Ashlyn Kilowan (SA), Johmari Logtenberg (SA), Urooj Mumtaz Khan (Pak), Shelley Nitschke (Aus), Rebecca Rolls (NZ), Sajida Shah (Pak), Lisa Sthalekar (Aus), Claire Taylor (Eng).

Rafiq replaces Faruque BCB announces new selection committee

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Former national all-rounder Rafiqul Alam was appointed as the chief selector of the national cricket team while Bangladesh's first Test captain Naimur Rahman was named a selector on Tuesday in the three-man panel that already includes another former captain Akram Khan.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced the new selection committee following recommendations of a three-member selectors' appointment sub-committee, headed by Shafiqur Rahman Munna. Rafiq's appointment in the committee ended the four-year reign of Faruque Ahmed.

The new committee will take charge from September 1 and their contract will run for the next two years.

The 49-year-old Rafiq, who first played for Bangladesh in 1980 and represented the country in two one-day internationals in 1986 while also appearing in the 1982 and 1986 ICC Trophies.

Rafiq, fondly called "bagh mama", has been actively involved in local cricket in different capacities. As a match referee, he has conducted numerous matches and is also the director of coaching of Dhanmondi Cricket Academy.

Off-spinner Naimur's return to cricket is surprising since he walked off the national team citing knee injuries during the reign of Faruque. He played eight Tests and 29 one-day internationals. Hailed as the best right-arm off-spinner ever of the country, ironically one of Naimur's primary job will be to find a right-arm offie. He was brought in place of Athar Ali Khan.

"We commended the previous selectors' work over the past four years but we thought that there was a need for change. I think we have selected two competent individuals for the demanding job because they not only played for the national side but have adequate knowledge of the domestic and international cricket," said Munna.

"We will maintain the same salary structure for the selectors, something that was made by our previous committee, but there will be some changes in the terms and conditions. We met with both the new selectors before finalising their names. We want hundred per cent commitment in the job because now it is no more an amateur duty," he added.

When contacted over telephone, the new chief selector Rafiq told The Daily Star that cooperation from all is the need of the hour.

"Teamwork and coordination with the cricket board and players will be of paramount importance for success just as teamwork is vital for the team's success," said Rafiq last evening, shortly after being confirmed by the board.

"I would not like to comment on the previous committee. What I must say is that we are quite a handful side in one-dayers now but are far, far behind in Tests and our focus should be on the longer-version."

According to Rafiq, his committee will eye the next big tournament, the World Cup, which is four years from now.

"Although it's a two-year contract, we'll have the World Cup 2011 in our plans. I think a long-term goal is necessary," said Rafiq.

Shaping a team for the next World Cup would be the main challenge for Rafiq and his committee as there had been hardly any controversy over the team selection during the Faruque-led committee's four-year tenure but they could not set up a team. Finding a permanent solution in the opening slot was their biggest failure.

Faruque however was not ready to focus on any of the negative issues but said that their successor will take over a good team, something that they did not inherit.

"At first I want to congratulate the two new selectors. I am hopeful that they will do a good job and the most important thing is that both have played for the national side," said Faruque in his initial reaction.

"I think they are fortunate enough as they are going to take over a team in good shape. We had to rebuild the side after a disastrous performance in World Cup 2003. We tried our best to make a good team and what was encouraging for us was that we had result-oriented success rather than only an improvement," he observed.

"We might have won most of the matches against Zimbabwe but during our period we also won some good matches against Australia, Sri Lanka, India and South Africa. No doubt the success in the last World Cup was the sweetest memory in my time," said the former national skipper.

BCB opens domestic window

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) formed a 10-member committee for reviewing the domestic structure with former board general secretary Aminul Haque Moni named as its convener.

The members on the committee are Jalal Ahmed Chowdhury, Shafiq-ul-Haque, Roquibul Hassan, Aliul Islam, Shakil Kasem, Aminul Islam Bulbul, Enamul Hoque Moni, Lt. Col. M. A. Latif Khan (Retd.) and Gazi Ashraf Hossain.

"This committee will give a recommendation about how we can improve our domestic structure. You all know that the weakness of domestic cricket is hugely hampering our performance in the international level and that's why we felt the necessity of having a strong committee to find out a solution," said BCB's media committee chairman Ahmed Sajjadul Alam Bobby.

"They will give mid-term and long-term recommendations, but we are afraid that will not be able to follow their recommendation from this season," he added.

Tigers T20 World Cup hopes and dreams

Monday, August 27, 2007

Bangladesh fly to South Africa on Wed-nesday to take part in the inaugural ICC Twen-ty20 World Cup, which will be held from September 11 to 26. Before departing the players spoke about their hopes and dreams ahead of the competition during the �meet the press� session at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Monday.
Shaun Williams (coach): Finally our batting has clicked in the warm-up match, which is a good sign. Until today (Monday), we were struggling with the batting. In the World Cup we need to score 150/160 which is a minimum. If we can do slight better, I mean score 170/180, I think we have a good chance.
Mohammad Ashraful (captain): We have trained two weeks for the tournament. The first week we spent time at the commando camp and the second week was on the field playing matches. Both the practices were useful. The batsmen started to get back into the runs, which was the case today (Monday). As time goes by, I hope they will get better. Our aim is to play in the second round and to do it we have to beat either South Africa or West Indies, which I think is not impossible. We have defeated South Africa in the World Cup, so we can do it again. We have a very young team as you see the average age is just 21. I think this will be a plus point for us.
Mashrafee bin Murtaza (vice-captain): When we went to play in the 50-over World Cup, we were confident of beating any side on any given day. It will be same in Twenty20 Cup. To make things happen, we just need to play our natural game. It is more of an entertaining form of the game, so everybody wants to enjoy it. Still, I think there is no room to take it easy. I am not too concerned about wickets.
Alok Kapali: I�ve recently changed my batting style slightly in order to score runs quickly. I applied the technique in the last Premier League and National League and was rewarded. It is a great motivation for me to do well in the Twenty20 World Cup.
Abdur Razzak: Yes, Twenty20 cricket is a bit risky for the bowlers as they get hardly any time to recover if they make any mistakes. At the same time, I think bowlers do have some chance to make serious impact in a game. I don�t think being the leading spinner of the side for the first time in the absence of Rafiq Bhai (Mohammad Rafique), will create any extra pressure on me.
Aftab Ahmed: Twenty20 cricket is not as easy for the batsman. Sometimes it is difficult to play strokes right from the beginning of the innings. In one-day cricket, batsmen get five to six overs to get settled, but it is not the case in Twenty20 matches.

Syed Rasel: I know this new type of cricket is considered more of a batsman�s game, but I am only concerned about my bowling. My main weapon is swing, which I think could be useful in any form of the game.
Farhad Reza: Being an all-rounder I think I can contribute with both bat and ball. I think an all-rounder is always very handy for a side. It gives the captain some more options in the bowling department.
Mushfiqur Rahim: I am confident about doing well in the Twenty20 game as well. If I can play Test and one-day, then why I can�t I play in Twenty20s? It is a very good opportunity to show my potential.
Sakib al Hasan: On our day we can beat any side because we have now that ability. I am happy about our preparation.
Tamim Iqbal: I did not play too many Twenty20 games, which is one of the reasons for me to take some time before starting to score runs in the warm-up matches. I know that some people are saying that I have changed my batting style, but I haven�t.
Mahmudullah Riyad: I have played just one one-day game so far, but I don�t think I am quite inexperienced. I played domestic Twenty20 cricket and also played in the warm-up matches. I hope it will help me.
Nadif Chowdhury: I have been picked as a batsman in the side. So whatever I want to do, I have to do it with the bat. True that my spin bowling is prohibited (for flawed action), but now I am practising pace bowling.
Nazimuddin: Normally I prefer to open the innings, but I can bat at number three. I have the courage to hit the ball hard.
Junaed Siddique: I was struggling to get runs in the initial warm-up matches, but now I have recovered. I will try to help the team with all my ability.
Ziaur Rahman: Yes, I was also surprised after getting a call up into the Twenty20 World Cup squad. I will definitely try my best to help the team. Being a bowler I never rely too much on pace. My main weapon are my out-swingers.

Winning start for NCA

The BCB National Cricket Academy (NCA) made a winning start in the tour of Down Under when they handed a 10-run defeat to Western Australia in their first limited-over match at the Marrara Cricket ground-2 yesterday.

The visitors amassed 219 for 5 in their stipulated 40 overs after skipper Mehrab Hossain decided to bat first. Raquibul Hassan top scored with a run-a-ball 59 while Nasiruddin Faruque contributed 47 in 97 deliveries.

Imrul Kayes chipped in with a 44-ball 31 and Mehrab hit a quickfire unbeaten 34 off 23 balls.

NCA then restricted the home team, who played with three first-class players, to 209 for 8 in 40 overs with Mick making team highest 60.

Left-arm spinner Mosharraf Hossain claimed two wickets for 17 runs while Nazmul (1-34), Talha Jubiar (1-37), Dollar Mahmud (1-23) and Nayeem Islam (1-39) were the other successful bowlers.

Harmer first on BCB’s list

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Bangladesh Cricket Board will resume the process of appointing the coach for the national team coach with Australian John Harmer first in line to make a presentation before officials on Wednesday.
Harmer, one of the three short-listed candidates for the post, which fell vacant in June following Dave Whatmore’s departure, is expected to arrive in Dhaka on the same day, said sources within the BCB.
The other two short-listed candidates – Australian Jamie Siddons and Zimbabwean Dave Houghton, will also be interviewed by September, said BCB officials. Former Zimbabwe captain and coach Houghton could be second person to be interviewed after Harmer, added officials.
However, a final decision in this regard is unlikely before the end of next month as the third candidate Siddons, who as of now is the first choice of the BCB officials, will not be available for the interview before the end of ICC Twenty20 World Cup.
Siddons, will be accompanying the Australian team, of which he is an assistant coach, in South Africa during the Twenty20 World Cup, which runs from September 11-24.
‘Australians are the firm favourite to win the tournament; naturally they expect to play in the final on September 24 in New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg. In that case we cannot interview him before the end of month. It may even go in October,’ said a BCB official asking not to be named.
The interim Board officials, who took over barely a month ago, managed to get in touch with Siddons only a few days ago after Mahbub Anam, the general secretary of the committee that government dissolved last month, extended his cooperation, sources said.
The new BCB officials had earlier put the search for a coach on hold as they had no contact details of the short-listed candidates. ‘Now we have a detailed profile of all three candidates,’ said an official.
The 65-year-old Harmer, first coach to be interviewed, has been working at the Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy in Brisbane since 2003, according to BCB officials. Previously he was at the helm of the Australia and England women’s cricket teams.
Harmer led the Australia women’s cricket team to three World Cup finals in his eight years in charge of the squad from 1992-2000, winning the 1997 World Cup in India.
An Australian Level III coaching certificate holder, Harmer, has authored a number research works on cricket coaching and biomechanics, according to Cricinfo in his profile.

Last practice match today

The national cricketers will play their last Twenty20 practice match at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today.

After six days of commando training, a first of its kind for the Tigers, under an Army unit in Sylhet, Mohammad Ashraful's men have so far played a number of practice matches to prepare for next month's ICC Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa.

Bangladesh, which will leave for Kenya on Wednesday, will be involved in a four-nation warm-up event in Nairobi prior to the main competition starting from September 11.

Instead of the usual fitness and net sessions, the management has arranged warm-up matches to make sure that the batsmen adopt to the new version of the game but the outcome were not very satisfying.

"I think 180-plus is a standard total but so far, we have failed to fulfill our expectations. We have to adjust to the new version of the game and for that hard work on our part is required. The good news is that both our openers have finally scored some runs but the problem is that we haven't exploited the slog overs properly," said Ashraful adding that none of the batsmen could carry on in their innings during the matches.

Southpaws Tamim Iqbal (27 off 30 balls) and Junaed Siddiqe (36 off 31 balls) finally showed some mettle in yesterday's match but the total runs achieved by their team (Green XI) was a modest 134-6 in their allotted 20 overs.

Alok Kapali, who played as a makeshift opener, continued his form with a 64-ball 68 but it could not salvaged Ashraful's XI to suffer a nine-run defeat in the first match.

The second match was abandoned following heavy rain after Red's were perilously placed at 54 for 4.

Game 1
GREEN: 134 for six in 20 overs (Tamim 27, Junaed 36, Aftab 27, Nadif 10, Mashrafee 7, Shakib 17, Razzak 2 not out, Sharif 1 not out; Forhad 2-26, Riyad 2-26, Kapali 2-23).

RED: 125 for six in 20 overs (Kapali 68, Nazimuddin 11, Ashraful 3, Riyad 10, Ziaur 1, Forhad 26, Mushfiqur 1 not out, Razzak 2-22, Sharif 2-24, Shakib 1-14).

Result: Green won by 9 runs.

Game 2
RED: 54 for 4 in 9 overs (Ashraful 5, Nazimuddin 28 not out, Kapali 1, Riyad 10, Ziaur 7, Mushfiqur 2 not out; Mashrafee 1-17, Shathil 2-24).

Result: Match abandoned.

AB Bank Tigers' new sponsors

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) confirmed AB Bank as the national team's official sponsor for the ICC Twenty20 World Championship to be held in South Africa in September.

Three bidders dropped their bids on August 15 and the private bank won the rights to sponsor the South Africa-bound national team as the highest bidder but BCB didn't want to disclose the amount.

"The sponsor company will disclose the amount within a short period of time. This bank won the right as the highest bidder. They also got the ICC approval," said media committee chairman Ahmed Sajjadul Alam Bobby.

He also informed that they would also disclose the name of the sponsor for clothing rights for the Tigers for this tournament.

Bangladesh has been pitted in Group A along with hosts South Africa and West Indies in the competition.

Riyad, Kapali hitting fine

All-rounder Mahmudullah Riyad made the most of the two Twenty20 practice matches held at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

The young right-hander smashed an unbeaten 39 off 35 balls in the first game with the help of two sixes and a four and then remained unbeaten on 33 that also contained a four and a couple of sixes in the second game as Mashrafe Bin Mortaza's Green overshadowed Mohammad Ashraful's Red side by 3 runs and 5 wickets respectively.

The Tigers returned to action after a 2-day break to play the matches, split into two groups, along with some other players and they are expected to play more matches in the next two days before leaving for Kenya to participate in a four-nation Twenty20 tourney.

Alok Kapali also returned among the runs making 42 and 23 respectively for the Red team but it was newcomer Ziaur Rahman who lived up to his big-hitting ability as he smote four over boundaries and two fours during his 29-ball 48 to ensure Green side's five-wicket victory in the first match.

Zia also contributed 10-ball 18 that featured two fours and a six in his team's three-run win in the second match.

Captain Mohammad Ashraful was satisfied with his team's preparation for the upcoming Twenty20 World Championship but he wants more runs from his top order to improve the overall total.

"I am satisfied with the progress but still we have to put more runs on the board. It's nice to see some of our top order batsmen getting runs," observed the young skipper.

Red: 133 for eight in 20 overs (Mushfiqur 8, Tamim 0, Kapali 42, Ashraful 8, Nadif 37, Forhad 23, Razzak 0, Rasel 2, Nazmul 1 not out; Mashrafee 2-14, Zia 1-31, Sharif 2-28, Shakib 0-13, Riyad 0-23, Enamul 0-12, Aftab 1-12)

Green: 137 for five in 18.1 overs (Junaed 6, Nazimuddin 10, Aftab 7, Shakib 4, Riyad 39 not out, Zia 48, Mashrafee 19 not out; Rasel 1-10, Forhad 2-20, Razzak 1-38, Kapali 0-27, Rubel 1-12

Result: Green won by 5 wickets.

Green: 140 for nine in 20 overs (Nazimuddin 41, Junaed 3, Aftab 11, Shakib 14, Riyad 33 not out, Mashrafee 0, Ziaur 18, Dhiman 1, Sharif 11, Enamul 0; Rasel 1-32, Forhad 1-16, Ashraful 3-21, Kapali 1-24, Razzak 2-42

Red: 137 for nine in 20 overs (Tamim 10, Kapali 23, Mushfiqur 13, Ashraful 30, Nadif 3, Forhad 12, Razzak 0, Rasel 11 not out, Nazmul 6, Tamim 12 not out; Mashrafee 2-28, Ziaur 1-32, Sharif 0-8, Enamul 1-32, Aftab 0-21, Shakib 4-12)

Result: Green won by 3 runs.

PCB clears Akhtar

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Pakistan Cricket Board on Friday cleared maverick paceman Shoaib Akhtar of indiscipline and suspended a 5,000-dollar fine, while warning him to stay out of trouble for six weeks.

The fast bowler had been fined 100,000 rupees (1,650 dollars) for leaving a training camp in Karachi earlier this month without informing manager Talat Ali, and 200,000 rupees for snubbing a subsequent hearing.

Ali said that after a fresh inquiry ordered earlier this week the paceman had been cleared.

"Akhtar has been exonerated after a warning as he explained that the entire incident was the result of miscommunication," said Ali.

Akhtar had appealed against the fine on the grounds that he was not given advance notice of the hearing, having only been told after the fine was imposed, PCB officials said.

The 32-year-old fast bowler also pleaded that he had told captain Shoaib Malik that he was leaving the camp. Malik agreed but said he had informed the paceman to also tell Ali, they said.

"Ali conducted the fresh inquiry after which it has been decided to suspend the fine for the next six weeks and in case of another breach the bowler will be fined 100,000 rupees," PCB spokesman Ahsan Malik told.

An appellate committee had on Monday ordered a fresh inquiry into the alleged breach of discipline by the bowler.

Akhtar said the PCB's decision would put him in the right frame of mind to play.

"The episode had disturbed me no end. Now I can focus on my game and play my part in the Twenty20 World Cup," said Akhtar.

No training for Tigers, NCA team depart

The national cricket team's training for preparation of the Twenty20 World Championship yesterday was cancelled.

The cricketers came to know about the cancellation only in the morning when they were about to leave home during curfew. The Tigers were due to report at 7.45 am at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Situation permitting, the training will resume tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the National Cricket Academy (NCA) with special permission to travel during curfew left Dhaka in the afternoon for Australia.

The Academy will play five limited-overs matches, four four-day games and three three-dayers in Darwin during a three-week trip.

Tigers warm up well

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Bang-ladesh national cricket team warmed up well for next month’s Twen-ty20 World Cup in South Africa when they defeated the Australia-bound Academy squad in both practice matches by five wickets and 60 runs respectively at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Tuesday.
In the first warm-up match, the Academy squad elected to bat and scored 103-6. Skipper Mehrab Hossain made highest 39 off 52 balls while Naim Islam hit a brisk 37-ball 33.
Mashrafee bin Murtaza and Abdur Razzak bagged two wickets each respectively for the senior side. Alok Kapali and Ziaur Rahman grabbed the other two wickets.
Bangladesh skipper Mohammad Ashraful made light of the Academy total hammering a 33-ball 45 with the help of
three fours and two sixes as the Tigers romped to 104-5 in 17.2 overs.
Sakib al Hasan was the other notable run-getter with 15 off 22 balls. Dollar Mahmud took 2-16 for the Academy side.
Aftab Ahmed and Sakib starred in the second match smashing 43 and 33 respectively as the national squad ended their 20 overs on 144-9 after being asked to bat.
Hard-hitting Aftab faced 32 balls to hit four fours and a six while Sakib cracked a four and two sixes in his 25-ball knock.
Alok with a run-a-ball 21 and wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim’s 12 off just four balls also helped the Twenty20 World Cup-bound squad compile a decent total. Dollar Mahmud was again the pick of the Academy bowlers with 3-30.
Apart from Nasiruddin Faruque’s 26-ball 21, none of the other Academy batsmen managed to get going. They were eventually dismissed for only 84 in 19 overs with Sakib and Razzak weaving their magic to share five wickets. Alok, Ziaur Rahman, Mashrafee and Mahmudullah Riyad took a wicket each.
The national team’s joy at winning both practice matches, however, was replaced by concerns over Mushfiq and seamer Syed Rasel, who sustained shoulder and ankle injuries. Although the team management sources later said their injuries were not serious.
The two teams meet again today in a 40-over-a-side contest at the same venue.

BD Academy Vs BD National
BD Academy 103/6 Over -20; Mehrab 39 (52 balls), Naim 33 (37 balls), Dollar 16 (8 balls; 6x2); Mashrafee 2/13, Razzak 2/25, Ziaur 1/8, Kapali 1/14
BD National 104/5 Over -17.2; Ashraful 45 (33 balls; 4x3, 6x2), Shakib 15 (22 balls), Nadif 8 (11 balls; 6x1); Dollar 2/16, Nazmul 1/8, Talha 1/19
Bangladesh National team won by 5 wkts (Second Twenty20 practice match; Date-21/08/2007; Venue-SBNS; Toss-BD Academy)

BD National Vs BD Academy
BD National 144/9 Over -20; Aftab 43 (32 balls; 4x4, 6x1), Shakib 33 (25 balls; 4x1, 6x2), Kapali 21 (21 balls), Mushfiqur 12* (4 balls; 4x1, 6x1); Dollar 3/30, Naim 2/17, Nazmul 1/19, Mehrab 1/35
BD Academy 84/10 Over -19; Nasiruddin 21 (26 balls), Naim 12 (8 balls; 6x1); Shakib 3/12, Razzak 2/5, Kapali 1/6, Riad 1/6, Mashrafee 1/14, Farhad 1/16, Ziaur 1/19
Bangladesh National team won by 60 runs (First Twenty20 practice match; Date-21/08/2007; Venue-SBNS; Toss-BD Academy)

Faruque unhappy

Chief national cricket selector Faruque Ahmed criticised the delay about announcement of the new national selection panel.

"It's getting too late to finalise the panel at the end of this month. I don't know why they are taking too much time to decide about the new committee," said Faruque, whose contract along with his other colleague Athar Ali Khan will expire on August 31.

"What I feel that it would not be easy for someone to decide about within a day or two whether he will accept the offer from the board. One should understand one thing that it is no more an amateur job," he added while talking with reporters at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

Meanwhile, the new ad-hoc committee formed a sub-committee headed by Shafiqur Rahman Munna to form the new selectors' committee and what Munna already informed that they would announce the selectors' names at the end of this month.

BCCI removes Kapil

India's cricket chiefs intensified the battle against an unofficial multi-million dollar league on Tuesday by removing the legendary Kapil Dev as head of the country's junior academy.

Dev, India's lone World Cup winning captain, is regarded the brain behind the breakaway Indian Cricket League (ICL) which has signed up international stars and domestic players for the next three years.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), which met here on Tuesday, sacked Dev, 48, from the honorary post of chairman of the Bangalore-based National Cricket Academy (NCA).

The BCCI also decided to bar those Indian players aligned to the ICL from playing first-class cricket, hence making them ineligible for selection in national teams.

"Every individual has a right whether he wants to associate himself with the BCCI or any other organisation," BCCI treasurer N. Srinivasan told reporters after day-long meetings.

"However, if he chooses to associate himself with any other organisation, he will not derive any benefit or be connected with any of BCCI's activities in any way.

"You can't have a foot in both places. That's why Kapil has ceased to be the chairman of the NCA."

There was no immediate comment from Dev, whose one-year term as NCA chairman was due to end next month.

Dev had said at an ICL media briefing on Monday "if the BCCI officials so want, they can remove me as the NCA chairman. I'm ready for that."

The ICL, bankrolled by media baron Subhash Chandra who owns India's largest listed media company Zee Telefilms, plans to hold Twenty20 tournaments between city teams for the next three years.

ICL officials said on Monday they had already signed up seven international stars and 44 Indian first-class cricketers, adding that more top players from around the world were expected to join.

Former Test captains Brian Lara of the West Indies and Inzamam-ul Haq of Pakistan lead the ICL list that also includes Pakistanis Mohammad Yousuf, Abdul Razzaq and Imran Farhat and South Africans Lance Klusener and Nicky Boje.

Among the Indian first-class players signed up are all-rounder Dinesh Mongia, who toured Bangladesh with the Indian team in May, and former internationals Deep Dasgupta and Jai Prakash Yadav.

No member of the Indian team currently touring England has been linked with the cash-rich ICL which plans to hold the inaugural event later this year.

Dev, one of the game's finest all-rounders, retired in 1994 with a then world record tally of 434 Test wickets and 5,248 runs from 131 matches.

He also played 225 one-dayers, scoring 3,783 runs and claiming 253 wickets.

Cricket again

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Tigers returned to normal cricket life today (Monday) after a three-day break following their week-long stint at the commando school.

The 15-member squad that will take part in the World Twenty20 had a short warm-up after reporting at 1:30pm to coach Shaun Williams at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium (SBNS) in Mirpur and then headed straight for cricket practice. Three groups of batsmen batted alternately at the centre wicket, the indoor facility against the bowling machine and the outdoor nets.

The team’s premier fast bowler Mashrafe Bin Mortaza bowled his first delivery in nearly a month today after sitting out the final two ODIs in Sri Lanka last month. Mortaza started gingerly but gained rhythm as he went along. The walking wounded at the camp at the School of Infantry & Tactics (SI & T) Tamim Iqbal (blisters), Abdur Razzak (ankle sprain), Alok Kapali (toe injury) and Mushfiqur Rahim (fever) all have recovered sufficiently and went through all the drills at today’s training.

The batsmen were understandably rusty as this was the first outing with the bat for most of them in weeks. They will get sufficient time to get in the groove wit a number of Twenty20 practice matches lined up starting with two against the Australia –bound National Academy side tomorrow at the SBNS. The games start at 9am and 1:30pm and all the 15 players will get at-least one match if the capricious weather holds. There are more practice games scheduled in the coming days.

Day’s quotes

Mohammad Ashraful

On playing the practice matches as preparation rather than going through the usual practice

We have played only one international Twenty20 match. Beside that we played seven matches in the last domestic calendar. So it is quite clear that this version of the game is not familiar to us. That is why I personally feel that it will be better for us to play Tewnty20 matches as preparation rather going through the usual practice sessions.

Whether this shorter version of the game will suit our batsmen more

Most of our batsmen are stroke makers. In the longer version game like an ODI or Test, sometimes we give away wickets by playing too many shots. But this is a game of 120 balls. You have to attack from the very beginning. Some of our newcomers are very attacking batsmen and they did well in the last domestic season. So I feel that we will adapt well with this Twenty20 format.

On his target of the ICC World Twenty20 Championship

We want to play in the second round. For that we have to win at least one group match. I am very much hopeful that we can do that.

On their chances of doing well

You can not win a Test by playing one good session. You have to play consistently well throughout the game for that. But in a Twenty20 match you do not have to keep up the tempo for a long time as it is the shorter version of the game. That is why I believe that we can do well in the tournament.

On newcomer Junaed Siddique

Junaed Siddique hammered a superb hundred against us in a domestic Twenty20 match. He was in blistering form throughout the domestic tournament. I hope that he will do the same for the national team and give us a flying start which is very important. In this shorter game if the top three batsmen fire then the middle and lower order have the freedom to slog.

On the importance of individual performance

Individual performance is important in all forms of the game whether it is Test or ODIs or Twenty20. If you score a hundred that will show in your team total as well.

On his bowlers

The economy rate of our main bowlers in ODIs is below five runs per over. So in the Twenty20 this might be an advantage for us.

Whether the Twenty20 format will overtake the ODI

I think the Twenty20 format will not overtake the ODI. The spectators might get fun from this version but ODI is unique in itself.

Junaed Siddique

On his plans at the international level

I will try to play my natural game and if I can do that I believe I can perform well at the international level.

On his fielding

I feel that my fielding has improved. I have been working hard with my fielding coach and practicing according to his direction.

On his thinking regarding Tests or ODIs

Right now I am not thinking about Test or ODI. My only focus is on the Twenty20 World Cup. I am eager to make an impact there. If I can do that then I will start thinking about the ODI or Test squad.

Tamim Iqbal

On his opening partner

I have little idea about Junaed Siddique but he seems a good player. After playing the practice matches I will get a clear idea about him. Who is more aggressive? I never think like that. One thing is sure that both of us like to play shots.

On his plans

In the Twenty20 games we have to score from the very first ball whether it is one or six. So I will play with full freedom.

Whether he has changed his batting approach

I have received a lot of question on this issue but I don’t know why. I have not changed my approach to the game. In Sri Lanka I responded to the match situation. The pitch was good for bowling and the wickets were falling all around me. That is why I slowed my inning in the latter stage of the third match although I scored my first 30 runs in 27-28 balls. I want to be known as a batsman not a slogger. If the ball is there to hit then I will do that whether it is the first or last ball of the innings.

Hit it & hit it hard

With the mantra 'hit hard as much as you can', Tigers started their training for the upcoming ICC Twenty20 World Championship at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

A bad habit of playing excessive shots can appear as a blessing in disguise for the Bangladesh batsmen in the latest version of the game and captain Mohammad Ashraful was also buoyant about this negative tendency, backing themselves for making a second round berth in the competition starting from September 11 in South Africa.

"Most of our batsmen are stroke-makers. In one-day or Test cricket sometimes we suffered for playing too many shots. But this is a game of 120 balls where you have to launch attack from the very first ball. We have good attacking batsmen in the squad including some newcomers and that's why I am very much hopeful," said the young skipper adding that they have to at least win one match for the second round berth. Bangladesh has been pitted in Group A along with hosts South Africa and West Indies.

Although this competition is still regarded by many as fun the Bangladeshi players seem happy with the meet as it gives them a chance to redeem their disgraceful performance in the recently concluded Sri Lanka tour.

"The new format will not overtake ODIs. The spectators might enjoy this version but ODI is unique. For our point of view we have a chance to do well in this type of cricket as you cannot win or even make any impression in a Test match by playing one good session as you have to play good cricket for a long period of time but in a Twenty20 match you do not have to keep up the tempo for long," he explained.

The Bangladesh captain was also excited about his bowlers. " The economy rate of our main bowlers in ODI is below five runs per over. So in the Twenty20 this might be an advantage for us," he added.

Bangladesh have not had enough experience of playing Twenty20 matches as they have so far played only one international game besides some domestic matches last season and that is the reason numerous practice matches have been scheduled.

"We played one international besides seven domestic matches and that's why this version of the game is not familiar to us. This is the reason we felt that it's better to play some matches in preparation rather going through the usual practice session," he informed.

The national team will play two Twenty20 matches today at the same venue against the Australia-bound Bangladesh Academy team and meet in a 40-0ver-a-side match the following day before being involved in a number of twenty20 matches against the other local selections.

Razzaq quits in protest

All-rounder Abdul Razzaq announced his retirement from international cricket Monday, saying he had taken his decision in protest at his omission from the Pakistan national team.

"I have taken this decision under protest because I am mentally disturbed over the treatment meted out by the selectors who dropped me like a new player," Razzaq told a private television channel from London.

"I will see the response of the selectors and the Pakistan Cricket Board before reviewing my decision because this is taken under protest."

Razzaq, who was in England to sign a short contract with Worcestershire county on Monday, was dropped from Pakistan's 15-man squad for next month's inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa.

The selectors said Razzaq and senior batsman Mohammad Yousuf would be rested -- a reason Razzaq said he believed was a pretext for him being dropped from the side.

"I was hurt when they dropped me, and on form and fitness and on my record as an international player, I deserved the benefit" of being treated as a senior player, said Razzaq.

Razzaq missed the World Cup in the Caribbean earlier this year because of a knee injury.

He has scored 1,146 runs and took 100 wickets in 46 Tests. He made 4,465 runs and took 240 wickets in 231 one-day internationals in a career which began in 1995.

Razzaq's lacklustre performance in his last 15 one-day internationals -- scoring just 173 at 10.73 with 12 wickets at 39 runs each -- led to his axing from the team.

Chief selector Salahuddin Ahmed dismissed suggestions that Razzaq had been elbowed out of international cricket.

"There was no victimisation. The team for the Twenty20 World Cup was picked purely on merit and the best players were selected," said Ahmed.

"Razzaq's omission does not mean an end to his international career and we hope he would reconsider his decision."

Razzaq, who is among eight Pakistani players offered lucrative contracts by a breakaway Indian league, said his decision was not linked to rebel cricket.

"I have not signed any deal with the Indian league but if I get the same treatment from my own people, I might be forced to join the league, but my decision to retire has nothing to do with the Indian league," he said.

Former captain Inzamamul Haq leads the pack who are considering signing with the multi-million-dollar Indian league being bankrolled by that country's largest media group, which owns the Zee television channel.

Others set to join the league are opener Imran Farhat, Yousuf and Moin Khan.

Pacemen Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif turned down initial approaches.

Razzaq, who also did not sign a central contract with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), said he had received no word from the sport's governing body since he was dropped.

"No official from the PCB has contacted me. I am still waiting for any official to talk to me but no one has yet bothered," he said.

Worcestershire signed Razzaq as a replacement overseas player for the remainder of the 2007 season following the return of Phil Jaques and Doug Bollinger to Australia for their 'A' team tour of Pakistan.

Razzaq arrived in Worcester on Sunday and was to join the squad for training Monday before the team travel to Canterbury for the county championship match against Kent, which starts Tuesday.

The all-rounder previously played English county cricket for Middlesex in 2002 and 2003.

"It has been very difficult to find quality replacement overseas players because of the forthcoming Twenty20 Cup World Championships and Abdul's availability has come at just the right time," said Worcestershire chief executive Mark Newton.

"He will certainly give us the quality and experience we need during the last few weeks of the season, particularly in the Pro40 competition.

"We have received clearance from the Pakistan Cricket Board but still need to complete the registration procedures with the ECB."

Tigers get busy again from today

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Bangladesh national cricketers get back to business today as they start preparing for the upcoming ICC Twenty20 World Championship after a six-day first-ever commando training in Sylhet under the guidance of a Bangladesh Army unit.

This time it would be a different type of a camp for Mohammad Ashraful's men at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium as they will play a number of practice matches rather than only having net and other fitness training sessions.

After the first day's training the Tigers, who were given two days break after the boot camp, will play two Twenty20 games against the Australia-bound National Cricket Academy squad on August 21 and a limited-overs match against same opponents the following day. They will also play more Twenty20 matches till August 26 against other local selections.

Bangladesh team will leave Dhaka on August 29 for Kenya to participate in a four-nation Twenty20 tourney before the main event starts in South Africa on September 11.

Hoping for tougher opponents

The quality of the opponents rather than the result has become a major concern as the Bangladesh National Cricket Academy prepares for a three-week tour to Australia.
The team, scheduled to leave on August 23, will play four one-day matches, a three-day match and a four-day match during their stay. All the matches will be held in Darwin.
Unlike other overseas tours, it has not been sanctioned by Cricket Australia but instead arranged by Shaun Williams, the Australian game development manager of the BCB.
Many have already raised doubts over the quality of the opponents, especially in light of what happened in the past. The Bangladesh Under-19 team, led by wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim, had travelled to Australia in 2005 and returned home without conceding a defeat.
Although they won all 10 matches on that tour, questions were asked who did the Under-19 team actually play. The Bangladesh Cricket Board bore the entire expenses of that unofficial tour and they will do the same for Academy side as well.
‘Every penny of the BCB is worth of a drop of blood of the Bangladesh people. So we have to make every penny count. If we find the opponents this time are not quality, we will not send team for such a tour in future,’ said Lt Col (retd) Abdul Latif, the chairman of the BCB’s game development committee.
Khaled Mahmud, the coach-cum-manager of the touring side, however, said he expects tough opponents as he has been promised by officials of Northern Territory.
‘This is winter in Australia’s mainland, so there is no cricket possible in Australia’s main cities like Melbourne and Sydney. All cricket teams have now shifted to the Northern Territory. Naturally, we can expect to have some tough opponents,’ said Mahmud.
Skipper Mehrab Hossain, who played in the Darwin league for six months before getting a call up into the Bangladesh A team in 2005, said he also expects some tough opponents.
‘During my stint in Darwin, I saw how competitive their league was. During this period all promising cricketers from the other regions rush to Darwin to remain with the game. Obviously they will give us great competition,’ said Mehrab.

Aug 27 BCB Academy v WA one-day
Aug 28 BCB Academy v NSW one-day
Aug 30 BCB Academy v Queensland Academy one-day
Aug 31 BCB Academy v ACT one-day
Sept 2-4 BCB Academy v Tasmania three-day
Sept 7 BCB Academy v N Territory one-day
Sept 10-13 BCB Academy v N Territory four-day

Just Academic

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) won many hearts when it signed a benchmark sponsorship deal with Grameenphone for building a National Cricket Academy (NCA).

Five months on, but unfortunately nothing has transpired in this very important task till today in terms of translating the dream into reality.

It was told by the immediate past office bearers of the board after signing a five-year deal with the cellular phone company on March 13 that their first target would be to build a two-storied building for the academy with all the necessary facilities in Mirpur, the home of Bangladesh cricket.

And the consultant agency, Bashat, had mentioned that they would need nine months to build the structure after the completion of the tender processes.

Forget any tender for the last five months the reality is that the board is still delving into an acceptable design.

Fingers however have been pointed towards the highly paid BCB's chief executive officer Mahmudur Rahman for the delay for his failure to coordinate everything for finishing the work as early as possible.

But like many other issues Rahman portrayed his helplessness.

He defended the delay by saying that they received the revised drawing and estimated budget from the consultant company just a few days back.

"We asked the consultant agency to revise the drawing and costing because we found their initial proposal too high and they gave it to me only ten days back. This is the main reason behind the unfortunate delay and you know during that time the board also went through a transition period," defended Rahman.

Money is however not at all a problem for the board when the sponsor company has agreed to give US dollars 1.5 lakh per year, which means the board would receive US dollar 7.5 lakh (about 5.25 crore Taka) in five years. And the fact is that they will need around Tk 2.5 crore to prepare the house according to the consultant agency.

The new chief of the game development committee Lt Col M Abdul Latif Khan (retd), however, was not ready to accept any excuse rather he got surprised by the holdup of a very important project.

"We desperately need the full-fledged academy but the most unfortunate thing is that nobody has taken the initiatives for the last five months to start the work. What I found is that nobody cared about the issue despite the company offering us handsome money," said an aggrieved Latif.

"Our board president (Chief of General Staff Maj Gen Sina Ibn Jamali) already talked with the NSC president (Army Chief Gen. Moeen U Ahmed) about the leasing of the Mirpur stadium for a certain period of time and hopefully it will be finalised within a short period of time. We will definitely start work for the academy by mid-September," assured the retired army man.

"I read all the papers about the academy and what I found that nobody has taken the initiatives to start the work. There is no scope to make any excuse for this delay. I talked with my president because it's a very important issue for us," he said.

Right at the moment the academy is operating from a rented house and the board are spending near about Tk 5 lakh per month for all the activities.

However the problem is that it can hardly fulfill the demand.

It was learnt that recently the board had to cancel an under-14 camp due to unavailability of a place for the player's accommodation and it's just one example of how desperate the need for a permanent establishment of the academy is.

ICL makes Rs 100m bait for Asif

Stepping up their player signing up drive, the Indian Cricket League has wooed Mohammad Asif with a more lucrative second offer of Rs 10 crore, local media reported on Saturday.
The ICL has offered Asif Rs 100 million for a three-year contract and the pacer is carefully assessing the various aspects of the offer before taking a decision next week, the Dawn reported on Saturday quoting Pakistan Cricket Board sources.
The ICL had last month offered Rs 9 crore each to Asif and fellow fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar which they had refused.
The sources also said the PCB was concerned about the congregation of several Pakistan players in London and were wary of their intentions to join the rebel League.

BCB starts digging deep into deals

Friday, August 17, 2007

The ad-hoc committee of the Bangladesh Cricket Board will review all commercial contracts, major purchases, tenders and expenditures on development projects from January 2000 to July 29, 2007, said officials.
The Board, in its executive committee meeting on Thursday, formed a five-member committee for the purpose with M Abdul Momen and Monowara Anis Khan as its chairman and vice-chairman respectively.
The other members of the committee are lawyer Ashraful Islam, banker Salim RF Hossain and chartered accountant RM Hasan.
The committee has been given an initial timeframe of three months within which it would conduct the review and report to the Board, said the BCB in a statement on Friday.
Meanwhile, the BCB’s decision to review the contracts, purchases, tenders and development expenses only from January 2000 has raised questions as there were certain allegations of irregularities before that period also.
‘It seems this is a politically motivated decision. If the BCB wants to review the questionable deals, they should go beyond the specified period,’ said an organiser asking not to be named.
Ahmed Sazzadul Alam, the chairman of the media committee and the BCB spokesman, however denied the allegation.
‘The Board thought reviewing the deals and expenses since January 2000 would be practical. Going beyond the time would make things unnecessarily complicated,’ said Alam.
‘All major commercial contracts of the BCB including television rights deal with ESPN and marketing rights deal with Nimbus were signed from January 2000 to July 2007. So I think it is fair to set this timeframe,’ he said.
Monowara Anis Khan, the vice-chairman of the review committee, said they were not asked to look into any deal in particular. ‘We will review everything. The BCB did not set any priority for us,’ she said.
‘We will decide about our own priority in our first meeting,’ said Monowara, also the chairman of BCB’s audit committee.