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.