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Thursday, August 30, 2007

The stage is set for the game of one-upmanship to recommence at Birmingham now. This is the first day match of the series and the action begins at 09:15 GMT
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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.

Mashrafe the gunslinger!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza lived up to his maverick reputation when he hit the target five times out of five in the group firing session on the final day of the Tigers' boot camp at Bangladesh Army's School of Infantry and Tactics (SI&T) in Sylhet yesterday.

Visibly ecstatic, the fast bowler made sure that everyone was aware of his accomplishment with an SMG within a 100m range. All-rounder Forhad Reza was the other notable shooter during the session, which also included a demonstration of warfare.

Due to heavy rain, the planned tiger chase could not be held. Instead, the national players went on a 5km run.

At the end of the day, Major Ashek called up each player individually from their room for an appraisal session where the national players were asked about their experience during the stint in the camp.

Meanwhile, wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim endured another day of high fever while left-arm spinner Abdur Razzaq also had a leg injury. Rahim's condition prevented him from taking part in any of the day's activities.

The players, who are heading back to Dhaka today, visited the shrines of Hazrat Shah Jalal (RA) and Hazrat Shah Paran (RA) in the evening.

No Sponsor Yet BCB names all 16 committees

A marathon meeting of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), the third of the ad-hoc committee, yesterday completed formation of its 16 standing committees.

Only the top two persons of the standing committees had been named after the board's first meeting and the complete committees feature cricket personalities like coach Jalal Ahmed Chowdhury (operations committee), former national cricketers Jahangir Shah Badshah (tournament committee), GS Hassan Tamim (game development committee), Selim Shahed (finance committee) and Tanjib Ahsan Saad (umpires' committee).

With more pending issues on the agenda, there was hardly any progress in matters like new sponsor of the national team and their new coach.

Media committee chairman Ahmed Sajjadul Alam Bobby, however, took a break from the meeting last night to inform reporters that the board expected to reach a concrete decision about a coach by early September.

"Whether we are to add more candidates to the short-list of three or not would be settled next month," told Bobby.

"We have also decided to stick to the plans of the last executive committee about domestic cricket but a committee will be formed with ex players, coaches and organisers to look after the pros and cons of the programmes. They will also try to give a long term strategic formula to improve the standard of domestic cricket," he added.

It was learnt that although no tender was submitted to sponsor the clothing of the Tigers, three different companies bade to become the national team's official sponsor after GrameenPhone's contract ended last July.

The board has yet to get a sponsor for the ICC Twenty20 World Championship also.

Mehrab to lead Academy

Left-handed opener Mehrab Hossain was named the skipper of the Bangladesh Academy team for the Australia tour, scheduled at the end of August.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board announced a 15-member squad for the three-week tour following an executive committee meeting on Thursday. Another left-hander Nasiruddin Faruque will be his deputy, said the BCB.
The meeting also approved the lists of its 16 standing committees and also discussed sponsorship of the national squad during the Twenty20 World Cup.
Three companies have participated in the tender to become official team sponsor during the tournament and BCB officials were expected to choose one when this report was being filed.
Academy squad: Mehrab Hossain (captain), Nasiruddin Faruque (vice-captain), Jahirul Islam, Imrul Kayes, Raqibul Hasan, Sohrawardy Shuvo, Shaghir Hossain, Dollar Mahmud, Talha Jubair, Nazmul Hossain, Mahbubul Alam, Mosharaf Hossain, Dhiman Ghosh, Naim Islam.

Commandos earn kudos

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Bangladesh cricket team earned praises from their trainers and instructors for showing courage, mental and physical toughness and the ability to learn quickly in the commando training now being held at the Army School of Infantry & Tactics in Sylhet.
They (cricketers) are learning everything very quickly. To be frank, we never thought they will do it so easily. Really they are quick learners, Lt Col Sirajul Islam, an officer involved in the short-term training, told reporters on Wednesday.
The army officers were taken by surprise when some of the cricketers did the job more adroitly than an ideal commando. For example, Sakib al Hasan climbed up and down eight hills in just 15 minutes with a 10-pound rucksack on his back on Wednesday in the Tiger Chase course, which according to the officers is one minute less than the timing of a real commando.
A commando needs to carry 30 pounds in his rucksack plus heavy arms weighing not less than 10 pounds during the same course, still Sakibs effort earned a praise. Army commandos earn the skill with six months training. On the other hand, the cricketers are here only for a week, said Lt Col Sirajul.

We have designed this course for the cricketers based on their demand for fitness. It is slightly different than the course for the army. I hope this course will help them a lot, he said.
They have enjoyed the course thoroughly and so did we. Hopefully, you will see its reflection on the field, said Major Ashek, another instructor.
Initially, we were a bit scared. Some of us thought we might not do everything properly, but in the end we did everything well. It gave us a lot of confidence. We have got a feeling that if we try everything is possible, said Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful.
The commando camp ends today.

I am nowhere near final stop---SACHIN

Sachin Tendulkar says his opting out of the inaugural Twenty20 World Championships does not signal a possible imminent retirement from other forms of the game as well, at least for the time being.
Ever since Indias disastrous World Cup campaign in the Caribbean earlier this year, there has been calls for Tendulkar to hang up his boots.
With captain Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble and VVS Laxman also in the mid-30s, critics and former captains have stressed on the urgent need for blooding youngsters.
And when Tendulkar, 34, along with Dravid and Ganguly, told the selectors that they should not be considered for the Twenty-20 Championships in South Africa in September, it prompted the media to debate about the end of an era. But the record breaking batsman himself says retirement is the last thing in his mind at the moment.
I have kept things very open. I dont want to divide my energies in various directions. I just want to focus on playing cricket, Tendulkar told The Sunday Times.
I have not thought about where I might stop. I dont think it is the right time to think about that. Tendulkar dismissed the oft-repeated question about his slowing reflexes and difficulties against fast, short-pitched bowling, saying he was �more or less the same� batsman he was five years ago.
Obviously ... Playing close to 400 one-dayers and 140 Test matches has taken its toll,� he was quoted as saying. After playing for 18 years, there are a few niggles, but you learn to deal with them. I am sure most players are not 100 per cent (fit). He also defended his record in recent years, which his detractors feel has been meagre without the big scores against Bangladesh.
It is probably the way people have looked at things. I think I have done reasonably well. Maybe the expectations are too high and unrealistic, he said.
Tendulkar, leading the side in the absence of injured Rahul Dravid in the three-day match against England A, came to the rescue of his side with a majestic 171 at Chelmsford on Saturday.
His 63rd first-class ton helped the team recover from 65 for 4 and reach 383 in reply to the hosts first innings total of 413 for 8 declared.
Tendulkar, probably on his last tour of England, predicted a tough contest in the three-Test series and the seven ODIs that were to follow.
He had high regards for Monty Panesar: I have been watching Monty on TV, he is terrific, Tendulkar said.
He has done a fabulous job for England but it is going to take time for him to graduate to the next level and be regarded as one of the best of all time. But he surely has it in him.
The Indian maestro recalled the left-arm spinners dismissal of him in Nagpur last year. It was Panesars debut Test and Tendulkar became his maiden scalp.
I signed a ball for him and wrote, Once in a blue moon. I had to write something funny on the ball, he said.
We caught up in the West Indies when he joined us at lunch. He is a nice bloke.

Mashrafe joins boot camp

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Vice captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza joined the commando training at the warfare wing of the Bangladesh Army's School of Infantry and Tactics (SI&T) in Sylhet on Tuesday after returning from India where he was on a personal visit.

He began his stint in Sylhet on a day when Bangladesh spent their fourth day in extensive training. The Tigers had a 10km run and demonstration on rappelling, sliding, swimming and hallow casting.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Maj Gen Sina Ibn Jamali visited the Jalalabad Cantonment to witness some of the sessions. The BCB boss also joined the national cricketers at lunch.

The Tigers will spend two more days at the SI&T before returning to the capital.

On completion of training in Sylhet, the cricketers will take part in training in Dhaka with interim coach Shaun Williams in charge.

Bangladesh are placed in Group A in the first-ever Twenty20 World Championships with South Africa and West Indies

Killing time not good

Former Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar is going through a long lay-off with no cricket for him in the near future as there is no domestic competition at the moment and the next international schedule is in New Zealand in December.

But it seems not at all a good break for Bashar and his other colleagues, who are under the payroll of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), in absence of action.

Currently, only nine contracted players out of 21 are taking part in the training programme to prepare for the upcoming ICC Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa.

"For the first time in my career I have been enjoying such a long break from cricket. But in the end it would not be good for us. Most of the players who are now out of the national camp are eagerly waiting to return," said Bashar.

"I think it would be nice for us if the board arranged a programme next month," he urged.

The most important thing is that the long absence from training may affect the fitness levels of many players because the Tigers have hardly proved having personal drive to improve their skill and fitness during vacations.

Many also believe that Bangladesh should focus more on the tour of New Zealand rather than the Twenty20 cricket after the disgraceful performance in the recently concluded tour to Sri Lanka.

Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu, the new chairman of cricket operations committee, was also very much aware with the fact but he seemed helpless with the shortage of coaching staff.

"I do agree that this contracted players desperately need some programme to keep in touch with cricket. Fitness is a big issue. Personally I am very keen to arrange a batting programme for them as you know it's a real headache in the longer-version competition," said the former national skipper reminding that the tour of New Zealand is not far off.

"I will definitely try to arrange something for them in the next month but the problem is that we do not have enough coaching staff in our hand right at the moment. There is no national team coach and that's why we have to depend on our development manager and we also lack coaches in other sectors," he added.

Lipu said that he will discuss the matter with the interim national coach Shaun Williams today.

"I will talk with him for the first time and it would be one of issues in our discussion," he informed.

$250,000 bonus for India

Rahul Dravid's triumphant Indians were on Tuesday rewarded with a 250,000-dollar bonus by the countrys cricket chiefs for a rare Test series win in England.
India won the three-match series 1-0 after the final Test ended in a draw at the Oval on Monday. The tourists had won the second Test at Trent Bridge after being saved by rain in the drawn first Test at Lords.
It was only the third series win by India in England following the 1-0 win by Ajit Wadekars team in 1971 and the 2-0 victory by Kapil Devs men in 1986.
Indian cricket board chief Sharad Pawar hailed the win and announced a bonus of 10 million rupees (250,000 dollars) for the 16 players, interim manager Chandu Borde and assistant coaches Robin Singh and Venkatesh Prasad.
I would like to congratulate the Indian contingent for their excellent teamwork and performance against England in the Test series, Pawar said in a cricket board statement.
I am sure every Indian will feel proud of our players, who have won a series in England after a gap of 21 years. I am sure a similar performance will be shown in the one-day series.
The seven-match one-day series starts at the Rose Bowl on August 21.
The series success was marred by widespread criticism of Dravids decision not to enforce the follow-on on the fourth day despite being 319 runs ahead, allowing England an escape route from defeat.
England, set an improbable victory target of 500, batted out the last 110 overs to make 369-6 in their second innings and force a draw, but still lost their first Test series at home since 2001.
Kapil, hailing the series win, wished India had enforced the follow-on and pressed for a 2-0 margin.

New selectors soon for Bangladesh Cricket

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Faruque Ahmed-led selection panel finished their last assignment by submitting the academy squad to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Sunday for the coming tour of Australia.

The Bangladesh National Cricket Academy team will leave Dhaka on August 23 to play six limited-overs, one three-day and a four-day matches against different opponents during their 18-day trip down under.

The contractual tenure of Faruque and one of his colleagues, Athar Ali Khan, has been extended for a period of one month by the new ad-hoc committee and that expires on August 31. Their job was extended keeping in mind the deadlines for selections of the Twenty20 and academy teams.

Speculations are however already on about the formation of the new selection committee and there are whisperings on few known faces like Minhazul Abedin, Aminul Islam, Naimur Rahman, Rafiqul Alam, but like many other burning issues the new board officials are yet to make up their mind in this regard.

The ad-hoc committee in its first meeting on August 1 formed a three-member selectors appointment sub-committee with Shafiqur Rahman Munna as its chairman and cricket operations committee chairman Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu as his deputy and Ishtiaq Ahmed as member.

The members of the committee are yet to meet formally, but Shafiqur Rahman Munna said that they are not completely out of touch as it's a very urgent issue.

"Definitely we will finalise the matter by August 30 because we don't want to keep this important positions vacant and you know our next tour of New Zealand is not far away. True, we are yet to make up our mind but what I can say is that we are thinking on it," said Munna yesterday.

Everybody has been curious about whether the new committee will go for a fresh selection panel. One of the members on the current committee, Akram Khan, was handed a two-year deal last June and he is expected to see out his contract that runs through May 2009.

Athar has hardly any chance to get another extension, but the main question that remains here is whether Faruque will be given another term.

"We don't want to dismiss anybody's chance because we will evaluate everything before naming the team. Our main objective is to give the job to suitable ones for the greater interest of the game. What I personally believe is that it would not be wise to consider the just-retired players for the posts because of their relationship with the current team members," explained the veteran organiser.

It seems that Faruque, who was appointed in the hot seat in August 2003, was also not uninterested to continue the job.

"I will seriously consider if I got the offer from the board but surely not for a long period of time," said Faruque.

The advisory committee of Ali Asghar brought the selection panel under payroll to bring accountability in the selectors' activities and it was learnt that this board wants to evaluate their works before making a decision.

What many believe that there was lack of brain storming in the selection process under the leadership of Faruque and this board is also seriously concern about the issue.

"Just as a coin has two sides they also have success and failure. So, we have to go through all the issues but the most important thing is that one should spend enough time for the job because they are paid," observed one member.

India win series 1-0 after draw in final test

Kevin Pietersen's 10th test century helped England survive for a draw in the third test at The Oval on Monday against India, who still claimed a rare series victory outside Asia 1-0.

England, set an unlikely 500 to win, reached 369 for six at the close with Matt Prior 12 not out and Ryan Sidebottom on three.

Pietersen scored a dashing 101 from 159 balls and Ian Bell made 67 from just 62 balls before getting out five overs from the end to set up a nervous finish for the hosts.

Shanthakumaran Sreesanth took three for 53, but India were unable to take the 10 wickets they required on the final day.

They became the first India team to win a test series in England for 21 years, emulating Kapil Dev's side in 1986.

It was India's fourth test series win on tour against major opposition in 21 years. They also won in Sri Lanka in 1993, Pakistan 2004 and West Indies in 2006.

India won the second test at Trent Bridge after the first at Lord's was drawn.

India's victory push at The Oval was set up by their first innings 664, their highest total against England, after winning the toss. Spinner Anil Kumble scored 110 not out for his maiden test hundred, which, surprisingly was India's only three-figure score in the three matches.

England replied with 345 before Rahul Dravid decided not to enforce the follow-on and instead India amassed 180 for six declared to take time out of the match and protect his team's series advantage. This may have cost his side a 2-0 victory.


Pietersen's century, crafted in just over three and a half hours, was the highlight of the final day. Initially he tempered his aggressive instincts for the team cause, reaching his 50 off 108 balls, but registered three figures off 155.

He pulled Zaheer Khan to fine leg to go to 94, drove through extra cover for three to go to 97 and reached his century the following over with a flick off his hip for four through midwicket off Sreesanth.

Four balls later, though, he tried to force another boundary through cover off the back foot but managed only to edge to first slip.

During his innings he had a heated verbal exchange with the normally mild-mannered Kumble after the bowler collided with non-striker Pietersen trying to field off his own bowling. The umpire intervened and Dravid calmed his agitated bowler.

England began the day on 56 without loss. Opener Andrew Strauss was first out, caught at slip off Rudra Pratap Singh for 32 and his place for the Sri Lanka tour in November must now be at risk having not scored a test hundred since August 2006.

Alastair Cook (43), Michael Vaughan (42) and Paul Collingwood (40) also started well then got out.

Collingwood and Bell registered their 2,000th test runs, a day after Kumble passed Glenn McGrath to become the third-highest wicket-taker in test history.

The teams now play a seven-match one-day series starting on Aug. 21.

Shoaib Akhtar appeals against fine for misconduct

Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has appealed against the penalties imposed on him for indiscipline last week by the Pakistan Cricket Board.

Akhtar was fined $5,000 for two breaches of the players' code of conduct. He left a training camp in Karachi earlier this month without informing the team management.

He was also docked 1.5 points from the total of 20 points available to the players for discipline in their central contracts.

"We have got an appeal from Shoaib in which he wants the penalties imposed on him reviewed again," PCB chief executive Shafqat Naghmi told Reuters on Monday.

"He says he had informed the team captain about his departure for Lahore because of a stiff neck. But he has admitted to not getting permission from the team manager as required in the rules."

Sachin makes Atherton eat his words

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sachin Tendulkar’s impressive performances in the ongoing Test series against England has made Michael Atherton eat his words as the former cricketer has expressed ‘great admiration’ for the Indian, admitting he had matured to be ‘a very fine player now’.
‘Watching Tendulkar bat throughout this series has been a curious business; his decline at once obvious and yet, since that decline has been accompanied by two telling innings, there comes with it a greater admiration,’ Atherton wrote in a British newspaper Daily Telegraph .
‘’Decline’ is a relative term, of course. It is simply that Tendulkar is now a very fine player rather than a very great one,’ he said after the Indian scored 217 runs and also picked some crucial wickets in the three-match series.
Atherton had joined the intense debate started by former Australian captain Ian Chappell on whether Tendulkar should call it a day in the aftermath of his poor showing in the World Cup by writing a column in the paper under the headline ‘Sachin Tendulkar, now just a comic hero’.
Atherton had also doubted that if sponsorship deals were among the reasons that were keeping Tendulkar going in cricket.
‘The truth is that Tendulkar has been marketed as a brand for some time. There are many interested parties who are keen to see Tendulkar wearing India’s colours for a while yet...’
‘There are only two reasons for carry on playing: if you are good enough, and if you still love the game. Only Tendulkar knows whether that love is alive. Everyone else is painfully aware that, despite his new super-hero status, his powers are very much on the wane,’ Atherton had said.
With India all poised to clinch the win, Atherton, in his latest column, wrote: ‘India will take the spoils at the end of this match and the man who is (absurdly) criticised for not playing enough match-winning innings, has done as much as anyone to make it so.’
The former England batsman was impressed by Tendulkar’s clinical approach. ‘If Tendulkar was to fail in this series, it won’t be for a lack of thought, effort or preparation.
‘Look at how he has approached each innings and the minor adjustments he has made each time. Monty Panesar trapped him lbw at Lord’s, and thereafter Tendulkar played him with his bat, not pad

SL to ban players joining ICL

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Sri Lankan cricket’s governing body on Friday threatened to ban any national player who took part in the breakaway multi-million dollar Indian Cricket League.
Sri Lankan players participating in any ‘tournament or league other than Sri Lanka Cricket-approved events shall not be eligible for selection to represent Sri Lanka,’ an SLC statement said.
SLC secretary Kangadaran Mathivanan added that players who played in the Indian Cricket League would also not be associated with any official cricket activity in the island nation.
‘They will not be considered for selection to play even domestic cricket, hold any position in the cricket administration or even officiate as umpires or commentators,’ Mathivanan told AFP.
Current players Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya and the recently retired Russel Arnold have been linked with the ICL.
But Arnold, who has just begun a career as a television commentator, was the only player to publicly acknowledge his desire to take part.
‘So far no current player has approached us with their intention to take part in the ICL,’ Mathivanan said.
He also ruled out anyone wanting to do so after the SLC’s latest decision.
Atapattu, a former captain and veteran of 88 Tests, was released by the SLC from his central contract last week. The move was widely seen as an expression of his intention to play in the ICL.
The Sri Lankan cricket administration in 1982 slapped a 25-year ban on 14 cricketers, led by then Test captain Bandula Warnapura, for playing in South Africa. They defied a government ban against any sporting contact with the then apartheid regime.
The ban was lifted in 1990 and some rebel players are currently involved in the game’s administration.
The SLC’s latest decision follows a similar move by the Indian cricket board to bar rebel players from official cricket.
The ICL, which is bankrolled by India’s largest listed media house, Zee Telefilms, plans to hold Twenty20 matches between six city teams in October and November.
Each squad is supposed to comprise four international players, two Indian stars and eight upcoming cricketers, according to an ICL announcement in May.
The Indian board’s tough stance has already made it difficult for the rival series to recruit current cricketers from both within and outside the country.
Retired West Indian captain Brian Lara, Test cricket’s highest run-getter, is the only top player to have confirmed his participation in the competition, which carries a winner’s purse of one million dollars.
Ex-Australian stars Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath have dismissed claims by the ICL that they have already signed up but the duo continue to be linked to the series.

Selectors opt for greenhorns

Thursday, August 9, 2007

National selectors on Thursday inducted three uncapped players in the Bangladesh squad for next months ICC Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa with pace bowler Ziaur Rahman getting a surprise call-up.
Ziaur, who played for Abahani in the last domestic season, won a hard-fought battle against experienced pacer Tapash Baishya, who was widely tipped to get a recall but was eventually excluded on fitness ground.
We have discussed the issue for a long time and finally came to the conclusion that Tapash lacked match fitness. He has been out of international cricket for five to six months and also did not participate in the skill training. So, we decided to try a new player, said chief selector Faruque Ahmed.
Ziaur is a good pace bowler and can also hit the ball hard, added the chief sector.
Unlike Ziaur, the other two uncapped players in the squad left-handed opener Junaed Siddique and right-hand middle-order batsman Nazim Uddin earned an expected call up to the team on the basis of their strong showing in the domestic cricket.
Junaed, well-known for his six-hitting ability, had been a key figure for Mohammedan Sporting Club to win the domestic Twenty20 League last year. Nazim also impressed with his performance for Abahani and the Bangladesh A team against England and Sri Lanka A respectively.
Veteran left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique and opener Shahriar Nafees were among the notable omissions from the squad while middle-order batsman Alok Kapali has been recalled after almost a year.
We did not consider Rafique at all as he is nursing an injury and has been asked to take rest for at least two weeks by physicians. Shariar asked the Board to release him on personal ground, said Faruque.
The chief selector sounded confident when he was asked about the fitness of vice-captain Mshrafee bin Murtaza, who missed the last two one-day matches in Sri Lanka due to an ankle injury.
Frankly speaking, I don't have his fitness report at the moment. But I am sure he will be fit in time as we have still one month left before the tournament starts, said Faruque.
The squad will play a tri-nation tournament in Nairobi involving Kenya and Pakistan from August 31 to September 5 before heading to South Africa. In the Twenty20 World Cup, they will play in Group A against hosts South Africa and West Indies.
Squad: Mohammad Ashraful (captain), Mashrafee bin Murtaza (vice-captain), Alok Kapali, Abdur Razzak, Aftab Ahmed, Syed Rasel, Farhad Reza, Sakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah Riyad, Junaed Siddique, Nazim Uddin, Nadif Chowdhury and Ziaur Rahman.

BCCI bans breakaway league

The Board of Control for Cricket in India on Wednesday decided to finally issue an official statement on protracted matters such as appointment of a coach and the validity of the Indian Cricket League, thereby putting rest to all the speculations.
While the ICL continues to be a thorn in the BCCI's flesh, the board has decided to advertise for the appointment a new coach.
Much in contrast to what Board president Sharad Pawar said on Tuesday, the BCCI, at its office-bearers meeting, categorically delineated itself from the ICL.
Reading from a written statement, Board vice president Rajiv Shukla said, Every individual has a right to choose whether he wishes to associate himself with the BCCI or any other organisation.
However, he continued, If he chooses to associate himself with any other organisation, he shall not be entitled to derive any benefits from BCCI, or be connected with any of its activities.
No sooner had he completed the sentence, a barrage of questions concerning ICL venues and the status of cricketers and ex-cricketers keen on joining the League followed.
The answer was terse. The statement is self explanatory. No benefits so no venues either.
However Shukla, after constant prodding added, The decision on Kapil Dev will be taken at the AGM. But it will be done in the light of today's decision.
Interestingly, the rumour about the Cricket Club of India being approached by the ICL as a venue for its proposed Twenty20 tournament too was put to rest with a Twenty20 international coming its way.
The Twenty20 international against Australia on October 20 will be held at the CCI in Mumbai, said Shukla.
The coach issue too seems to be resolved to some extent, with the BCCI deciding to come up with a newspaper advertisement within a weeks time.
We expect to make an appointment soon after that, said Shukla, without specifying a time frame.
However, the post of interim coach (read manager) will be taken over by Lalchand Rajput from veteran Chandu Borde for the Twenty20 World Championships in South Africa.
The 45-year old present India U-19 coach will be assisted by Robin Singh and Venkatesh Prasad, who will continue to look after the fielding and bowling departments respectively.
With the more pressing issues having dealt with, the Board went into a philanthropic mood. The Board has decided to open a new national cricket academy in Bangalore. The Karnataka government has already allotted us 30 acres land for that, Shukla said.

Bangladesh team for the ICC World Twenty20 announced

The Bangladesh squad for the ICC World Twenty20 to be held in South Africa was announced today (Thursday) with a host of new faces making the team for this exciting tournament.

The side, led by Mohammad Ashraful, has a number of explosive batsmen and allrounders. Apart from the proven ones like Ashraful, Tamim Iqbal and Aftab Ahmed the new faces in the batting line-up are Junaed Siddique Imroz, Nazim Uddin and Nadif Chowdhury, all with a reputation of big-hitting.

Shakib Al Hasan, Farhad Reza and Mahmudullah Riyad are the all-rounders in the side. The bowling department will be led by Mashrafe Mortaza, Syed Rasel and left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak. Paceman Ziaur Rahman is a fresh addition.

Mohammad Ashraful (Captain), Masrafe Bin Mortaza (Vice-Captain), Alok Kapali, Abdur Razzak, Aftab Ahmed Chowdhury, Syed Rasel, Forhad Reza, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (Wicketkeeper), Tamim Iqbal Khan, Mahmud Ullah Riyad, Junaed Siddique Imroz, Nazim Uddin, Nadif Chowdhury, Ziaur Rahman

Commando training set for early setback

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Bangladesh’s Cricket Board’s plan to send the Twenty-20 World Cup bound-squad for a commando training, is set for an early setback as a number of key players have expressed their reluctance to attend citing personal problems
The BCB has planned to hold a five-day long boot camp for the cricketers at the warfare unit of the Bangladesh Army in Sylhet from August 11-15.
But sources close to the players said, vice-captain Mashrafee bin Murtaza, middle-order batsman Aftab Ahmed, opener Shahriar Nafees and left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique, all of whom are considered key players of the Twenty20 squad, will not be able attend.
Mashrafee is currently in Mumbai with his ailing wife and is scheduled to return on August 13, two days after the special training starts. Ishita, the wife of Shahriar Nafees, is seriously ill as the couple is expecting their first child in early September.
It left the left-handed opener, who led Bangladesh in their maiden Twenty20 international against Zimbabwe last year, in two minds on whether to join the commando training, said close sources.
Aftab is getting married on August 13 in Chittagong, so the hard-hitting middle-order batsman will also miss the Sylhet training.
Rafique, who is already nursing a rib injury, also said he is not prepared to join as his house at Keraniganj is at the risk of being flooded.
‘My house is still free from the flood water, but it is at risk. Water is all around my house and it is difficult for me to play cricket leaving my family in such a situation,’ Rafique told New Age on Sunday.
But the biggest blow for the commando training could come from coach Shaun Williams, who is yet to agree to take charge of the national team in the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in South Africa next month.
Williams, who is basically the Game Development Manager of the BCB, took over the charge of the national team temporarily during the tour of Sri Lanka and the newly-appointed committee in their first meeting last week had asked him to continue in the Twenty20 World Cup.
Sources said Williams was not happy with the decision of the new committee as they did not discuss it with him beforehand. Subsequently, he started bargaining over some issues and the BCB is still trying to convince him through chief executive officer Mahmudur Rahman.
The commando camp could well start without a physical trainer as the BCB has not appointed anyone to replace Paul Close, whose contract has expired.
The BCB solved this problem only on Tuesday by asking Ajmal Hossain Mithu, the physio of Bangladesh Under-19 team, which is now touring Malaysia, to return home on the next available flight.

Gosh spins U-19s to T20 victory

Left-arm spinner Taposh Gosh led the Bangladesh Under-19 team to a 34-run victory in their first ever Twenty20 match with a six-wicket haul over the Malaysian national side in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
Batting first, the Bangladesh finished their stipulated overs on 128-8 with Arif scoring highest 51. Rony and Himel scored 28 and 19 respectively.
Tapash, also the vice-captain of the side, returned with 6-10 to dismiss Malaysia for 94 in 19 overs. Rony displayed an all-round performance taking three wickets for 26 runs

Mirpur all in all in 2011 WC

Monday, August 6, 2007

All six matches of Bangladesh and the opening ceremony of the 2011 Cricket World Cup will be held at the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, revealed the Bangladesh Cricket Board at an inter-ministerial meeting on Monday.
‘The Sher-e-Bangla Stadium is the only venue proposed for the opening ceremony and the official World Cup matches. The Bangabandhu National Stadium and Fatullah Stadium have been proposed only as alternative venues,’ said BCB chief executive officer Mahmudur Rahman after the meeting.
It was the first such meeting in Bangladesh about the 2011 mega event, which India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will also co-host. India will host 22 matches of the competition including the final while Pakistan and Sri Lanka will stage 16 and nine matches respectively.
Representative from the home, civil aviation and tourism, health, LGRD, finance, post and telecommunications, commerce, foreign, sports and information ministries attended the meeting at the Bangladesh Secretariat.
‘We have only three years left to host the World Cup. But there are numerous issues yet to be settled. They all were discussed in the meeting,’ said Rahman, one of the three BCB officials to have attended it.
‘We have estimated around 1200 beds of five-star hotels will be needed during the World Cup for players, officials, ICC officials and television crews. If we add the spectators who are expected to come here during the tournament, the number will be much higher,’ said Rahman.
‘So accommodation of all these people demands serious attention. We also have to ensure hassle-free visas for the players, officials, spectators and journalists. Both issues were discussed at the meeting,’ said the official.
‘The home ministry has planed to make a safety and security plan for the officials and players and also decided to give them on-arrival visas,’ a statement from the ministry of sports said later.
Bangladesh will take initiative to introduce a SAARC visa so that relevant players, officials, journalists, television crews and fans can travel without trouble to all four co-hosts, the statement confirmed.
The National Board of Revenue will ensure import of television cameras, cables, food and beverage, prize money and the remuneration of ICC officials. Bangladesh Bank will ensure the smooth transfer of foreign currencies.
The ministry of commerce will monitor the legal side against ambush marketing, trade mark and intellectual property rights, decided the meeting.
The meeting also decided to take an extensive programme of tourism to promote Bangladesh during the tournament. Special tour packages will be offered to the overseas travellers while Dhaka city will decorated in a special way, said the official.

U-19s bounce back

The Bangladesh under-19 team bounced back from their stunning defeat to Malaysia in the previous match when they outclassed the hosts by eight wickets in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.
Bangladesh had restricted Malaysia to 108-8 in 35.2 overs before rain intervened in the game. Rubel took highest four wickets while Subhashish claimed three wickets.
Bangladesh were given a revised target of 102 in 35 overs, but they needed only 15 overs to achieve it. Mithun was unbeaten on 41.
With the win Bangladesh took a 2-1 lead in the series. They had won the first match by 10 wickets before Malaysia levelled the series with a three-wicket win in the second.
The visitors are scheduled to play a Tewenty20 match against Malaysia national side on Tuesday