Tigers ready for all

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

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

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

The match starts at 2pm Bangladesh Standard Time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mashrafe cautions Tigers

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tigers tamed

Monday, September 10, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ashraful picked up two wickets for 19 runs.

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

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

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

Result: Kenya won by six wickets.

Toss: Kenya.

Nazim blows Scots away

Sunday, September 9, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shakib claimed two for 28 runs.

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

Bangladesh won by 6 wickets

Saturday, September 8, 2007

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

Bangladesh won by 6 wickets (with 24 balls remaining)

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

Tigers play Uganda today

Monday, September 3, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He admitted that the Australian coach changed his cricket philosophy.

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

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

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

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

Shakib getting better

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

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

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

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

Tiger Nazim ready to thrill

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nazim's bravery goes in vain

Sunday, September 2, 2007

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

Tigers ease to victory

Saturday, September 1, 2007

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

Shakib misses first game

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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