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oracle
August 24, 2004, 08:48 AM
BBC-Tigers fighting for scraps (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/3590432.stm)

Bashar:

"If we don't get flat wickets I think we have a chance to win both our first two games.



"Definitely it is better for us to play on wickets where the ball assists the bowlers


Whatmore:

"The team is still not the best we can muster. The younger ones need time to settle in but trying to quantify the time they need is difficult."

chinaman
August 24, 2004, 12:35 PM
By Oliver Brett

Bangladesh are hoping for some sporty wickets in England when they attempt the task of beating South Africa and the West Indies in the first phase of the ICC Champions Trophy.

They have been shocked by the loss of injured captain Habibul Bashar, but he has confidence that his team-mates can rise to the occasion without him.

He told BBC Sport: "If we don't get flat wickets I think we have a chance to win both our first two games.

"Definitely it is better for us to play on wickets where the ball assists the bowlers."

After an encouraging tour of the West Indies, where Bangladesh competed well and nearly won the first one-day match of the series, their old failings resurfaced in the Asia Cup tournament.

Coach Dav Whatmore said: "It's fair to say the team played below what they're capable of.

"A lot of people will say that's what they expect but I was harbouring hopes of wining one or two games but we didn't play very well."

What was disconcerting for Whatmore is that that tournament was played in Sri Lanka, in conditions that were familiar to his players.

They are not, on the other hand, well versed in English conditions.

But Bangladesh do at least have some time to acclimatise, with warm-up matches scheduled in Ireland and Scotland.

Bashar says enough players are performing well enough for him to feel reasonably confident.

"Javed Omar got two fifties recently and Mohammad Ashraful is also in good form.

"The bowlers are in good form too. Tapash Baisya is bowling very well and Khaled Mahmud as well."

Bashar has strong opinions about the make-up of the side, feeling that they must be allowed to develop together.

He said: "Most of the players are in their early twenties. If we can keep them for one or two more years we will be a much better side.

"But if we keep changing our players all the time the team will never get experienced."

Quite apart from cricket, Bangladesh has also endured one of the worst seasons of floods in recent memory - some success for the cricket team would go down well for the people back home.

"After the World Cup it is the second biggest tournament and almost the whole of the country is watching the game.

"Almost every time they expect us to win but we don't win may matches.

"We came very close on our last tour - we can take a lesson from that and we hope we can do better next time."

Bangladesh have promoted three players from the A tour squad to the senior ranks as they continue to invest faith in youth.

Whatmore said: "At the moment we are looking at every opportunity to get the right mix of players to be competitive and win matches.

"The team is still not the best we can muster. The younger ones need time to settle in but trying to quantify the time they need is difficult."

In reality, some solid wins against Ireland and Scotland and avoiding heavy defeats against South Africa and West Indies will constitute a decent effort by Bangladesh.

BBC >> (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/3590432.stm)

chinaman
August 24, 2004, 03:04 PM
Sorry oracle, didn't saw your post. Was in rush.