Shakib misses first game

Saturday, September 1, 2007

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.