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  #1  
Old February 9, 2011, 11:18 AM
Banglaguy Banglaguy is offline
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Default Banglaguy's collection of off-site news reports

I felt as though this deserved it's own thread, rather than no one reading it in Tamim's ''Official'' thread...
DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh are hoping India's last World Cup defeat at their hands will be playing on their opponents' minds when the pair meet at this year's tournament, opening batsman Tamim Iqbal said on Wednesday.

India lost to Bangladesh in their World Cup opener at the 2007 edition in the West Indies and then failed to make it past the first round of the competition.

The two countries meet again in their opening match at Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on February 19 in a tournament they are co-hosting with Sri Lanka until April 2.

"It will always work in their mind that they lost to us in the opening game of the last World Cup," Tamim told reporters.

"So they will be under pressure, not us."

Tamim played a key role in Bangladesh's five-wicket win at Port of Spain with a blistering knock of 51 off 53 balls, which set the tone for Bangladesh in the tournament.

He has also had a few other good innings against India, including his test best 151 in Dhaka in 2010, which make him an obvious target of the Indian bowlers.

Not that Tamim is worried.

"If I can play like the way I play I have no reason to be afraid of any bowler in the world," he said.

He added they were not treating the India game any differently to their other matches in Group B, which also features England, Ireland, Netherlands, South Africa and West Indies.

"We have six matches in the group phase and we are planning the same way for every match," he said.

Tamim said he had improved his game significantly since the last World Cup.

"If I had two shots in 2007, now I have five shots," he said. "That's an improvement. It is not the end ... just a step forwards and I think I have a long way to go. Every day I am working on my weakness."

http://af.reuters.com/article/sports...BrandChannel=0
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  #2  
Old February 9, 2011, 11:21 AM
Banglaguy Banglaguy is offline
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Dhaka, Feb 9 (bdnews24.com) — Any team thinks at least twice before playing the Tigers, a national cricket team member has said.

"Bangladesh have been playing well in the last three years." batsman Tamim Iqbal Khan commented on Wednesday when four players of the team spoke to the media at an open discussion at Sheraton Hotel in the city.

The left-handed opener also finds the first match of the World Cup on Feb 19 like any other matches, saying that "I can win under pressure."

Bangladesh defeated India in the 2007 World Cup. In reply to a question if he is confident of wining again, skipper Shakib Al Hasan on Tuesday said: "Things are different now. But, I don't think there's anything to worry about. If you are good enough, you can win."

Middle order batsman Mahmudullah Riyad, however, said he thought that the first match would be rather tough one among the six first round matches.

Bangladesh will also play West Indies, South Africa, England, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Tamim said: "It needs five to six batsmen to win a match. And we are all capable of doing something extraordinary."

Left-arm spinner Khan Abdur Razzak was also hopeful about playing well in the mega event. "Those in the squad are doing well."

In response to the absence of pacer Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, he said: "Everyone misses a good player."

Mashrafe is left out of the 15-member squad, declared on Jan 19, due to his knee injuries.

Star player Mohammed Ashraful eyes the quarter finals. He managed his position in the 15-member squad through a better performance in the domestic cricket league.

"I will try my best," he said, when asked about his expectations.

Ashraful said of the three major matches — with West Indies, South Africa, England — two could be won. "We may defeat Ireland and the Netherlands if we play our best," he added.

Meanwhile, he seemed flexible over his batting position. "It doesn't matter when I'll be sent in to bat."

Pointing at the practice matches, Tamim said, "We still have a few days to improve. I'll try more to perform better."

During their warm up matches on Feb 12 and 15, Tigers will face Canada and Pakistan respectively.

http://bdnews24.com/details.php?id=186896&cid=26
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  #3  
Old February 9, 2011, 12:33 PM
dolcevita dolcevita is offline
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Like Tamim's attitude he is really focus on hard work to achieve his goal

Posted via BC Mobile Edition (iPhone)
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  #4  
Old February 9, 2011, 12:37 PM
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Yeah, really like the attitude; but if we don't win, none of it will matter.
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  #5  
Old February 9, 2011, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AsifTheManRahman
Yeah, really like the attitude; but if we don't win, none of it will matter.
Thats a bit of a do or die strategy, don't you think?
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  #6  
Old February 9, 2011, 03:28 PM
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Raynman Raynman is offline
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Thes are the steps to match:

1. Desire to win
2. Belief that you can win
3. Play to win
4. Win

If 1-3 are there but 4 isn't achieved against IND and SA, its acceptable.
against ENG it will be hard to swallow but i can live with it.
With WI, IRE, NED there are no excuses. It won't be the end of the world but there must be accountability and prices paid by someone if that were to happen.

What we tend to overlook as fans sometime is that for all the celebrations we did for whiteswashing NZ or beating IND in 2007 WC, their fans took it out on them equally. Thats because they are established teams that fell embarassingly short of a realistic expectation.

I don't agree with setting the expectations low so that any result can be sugar coated. There are 6 matches/chances and a couple of hiccups are excusable as long as the effort is put forward.

Bottom line is we don't have any right to cry over being called minnows or not getting series' or not having our players selected in foreign leagues until we prove our worth and there is no grander stage to do so then in the World Cup in our home soil.
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  #7  
Old February 9, 2011, 03:34 PM
Banglaguy Banglaguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raynman
Thes are the steps to match:

1. Desire to win
2. Belief that you can win
3. Play to win
4. Win

If 1-3 are there but 4 isn't achieved against IND and SA, its acceptable.
against ENG it will be hard to swallow but i can live with it.
With WI, IRE, NED there are no excuses. It won't be the end of the world but there must be accountability and prices paid by someone if that were to happen.

What we tend to overlook as fans sometime is that for all the celebrations we did for whiteswashing NZ or beating IND in 2007 WC, their fans took it out on them equally. Thats because they are established teams that fell embarassingly short of a realistic expectation.
I don't agree with setting the expectations low so that any result can be sugar coated. There are 6 matches/chances and a couple of hiccups are excusable as long as the effort is put forward.

Bottom line is we don't have any right to cry over being called minnows or not getting series' or not having our players selected in foreign leagues until we prove our worth and there is no grander stage to do so then in the World Cup in our home soil.
Like on cricnfo, before the New Zealand series, the writer said ''New Zealand would expect nothing other than a clean sweep, with Vettori and McCullum back from paternity leave and Ryder from injury''..... How wrong he was...
http://www.espncricinfo.com/banglade...iew=commentary
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  #8  
Old February 9, 2011, 03:45 PM
Banglaguy Banglaguy is offline
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Default A Real Tiger At Home

Since there is not an official Abdur Razzak page... A new thread had to be made:
Abdur Razzak, at the age of 28, is a changed man with a shy smile and a deadly arm-ball.

Despite all his hardships, in the form of questions about his bowling action, the left-arm spinner (who made his debut in 2004) has become the country's most successful ODI bowler and is No 3 in the ICC rankings.

One of the reason for Bangladesh's spin attack to be rated so highly, particularly in one-day cricket, is this man's ascent as the key wicket-taker. Shakib Al Hasan does a holding job at times and picks up the wickets while Sohrawardi Shuvo is supplementary to the Tigers' requirement but it is Razzak who matters, sometimes with the new ball.

But it hasn't been a smooth ride for the man from Bagerhat. Video technology was used to help iron out anything suspicious in 2005 when his action was first questioned. He did come back in 2005 playing only one ODI that year, but was recalled in 2006 for the home series against Sri Lanka. Razzak played 50 ODIs by 2007 and took his wicket tally to 76. In the 2007 World Cup he picked up 13 wickets in nine matches. Against India where Mashrafe was awarded the man-of-the-match, Razzak bowled brilliantly, picking up three vital wickets including Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh.

He was becoming a concern for the opponents, and just then there was another threat to his career: he was, for the second time, suspended for his bowling action in 2008.

Many thought it was the end of his career but his eagerness to play brought him back in the international scenario, with major help from coach Mohammad Salahuddin. In 2009 he was back with a re-constructed action, and that probably made him more threatening to the batsmen though it didn't start to well.

His new slick action was helping him to turn the ball more than before and Razzak has picked 29 wickets in his last 15 matches.

Recently in the home series win against Zimbabwe, Razzak bagged 13 wickets in just four matches including a hattrick (Bangladesh's first in the one-day arena).* Whenever he was given the ball, he brought breakthroughs and also kept the scoring rate under control.

When the pacers go for runs in the first few over, without any hesitation the captain turns to him. When many spinners are never keen to open the bowling, Razzak relishes the prospect.

"If the team needs, I will open the bowling. The new ball skids and bounces more than the old one, so it suits me more than the other spinners,” said Razzak during the open media session of the Tigers in Hotel Sheraton yesterday.

Though he seems shy, Razzak is ambitious and especially in the one-day format. "I'm No 3 in the bowlers ranking now but my best has been No 2. My only target is to get to the No 1 position, if it happens in the World Cup, nothing better than that."

The most inspiring thing for Razzak ahead of the World Cup would be that he took 86 wickets in home soil against all opponents in just 49 matches. His spells against India, South Africa, West Indies and England would be critical but in the matches against Ireland and the Netherlands, Razzak will be the man Bangladesh would be looking at.

*This is a mistake by the newspaper, as Shahadat Hossain was the first.
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesig...php?nid=173541

Last edited by Banglaguy; February 9, 2011 at 03:46 PM.. Reason: forgot something, sorry lad's...
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  #9  
Old February 9, 2011, 03:55 PM
Banglaguy Banglaguy is offline
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Default The secret behind the stumps

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesig...php?nid=173431

During every Tigers practice session it is a common scene that computer analyst Nasir Ahmed is seen working with wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim. The reason was simple; the former wicketkeeper has got the additional task of making sure that the young stumper improves his keeping skill.

When the Bogra-lad was picked in the World Cup team four years back in place of then stalwart Khaled Mashud, many had raised their eyebrows but the youngsters silenced the critics by playing a magnificent match-winning knock against India in the 2007 extravaganza in West Indies.

Without any doubt he was the automatic choice for the team this time for the 2011 World Cup where Bangladesh is one of the co-hosts along with India and Sri Lanka.

And there has hardly been any doubt over his ability as a batsman as his solid technique has been highly rated by the cricket pundits. However, a question remains about his expertise as a wicketkeeper.

The 22-year old has often dropped simple catches and sometimes missed vital chances but it would be really hard for the team to afford that sort of mistakes when we are going to play the World Cup in the subcontinent where bowlers have to sweat for a scalp.

Besides his batting, everybody will looking forward to seeing Mushfiqur making the least amount of mistakes behind the stumps so that the Tigers can fulfill their first dream of making the quarterfinal berth in the showpiece event.

Mushfiqur has to ensure a big role during the Tigers journey in the World Cup.

“Catches win the matches”. It's a very popular saying in cricket and for an improving team like Bangladesh a dropped catch can change the whole scenario of the match.

“One cannot be a hundred percent successful as a wicketkeeper. My observation is that Mushfiqur improved a lot in wicket keeping. He has some problems to grip the ball properly against the spin bowlers but now he is more comfortable,” observed Nasir Ahmed.

“I never have seen such a hard-working boy like Mushfiqur and what I believe is that his work ethic can be a real example for the others. It's not a joke to work hard for wicket keeping practice after batting two hours in the nets. You know wicket keeping is such a job where experience is a major factor. Mushfiqur is now more matured,” he added.

Nasir Ahmed also praised the young man's mental strength.

“You simply can't imagine how tough he is as a player. And toughness is a vital part if someone wants to be a good wicketkeeper. I strongly believe his improvement as a wicketkeeper will be visible during the World Cup,” said Nasir.

“But still he has to improve his gripping and movement and I hope he will be improving with each game,” he added.

Mushfiqur's predecessor Mashud also heaped praise on the young man.

“He is a perfect one-day player and an asset for any team. As a batsman he has an excellent technique to cope with any conditions and match situation and as a wicketkeeper he has also improved a lot. I hardly find a positive player like Mushfiqur,” said Mashud.

“He is a hard-working and disciplined guy and I have high hopes with Mushfiqur. I think we are yet to get the best out of this young man. He has some lacking in his keeping which in my opinion is because of his lack of experience of playing four-day matches. Actually you have to give someone enough time to become a complete wicketkeeper,” he added.

Mashud also believes that Mushfiqur Rahim would be a very vital component in Tigers' success in the upcoming World Cup.
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  #10  
Old February 9, 2011, 04:08 PM
Banglaguy Banglaguy is offline
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Default Mahmudullah ready to make an impact

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/sports/8212.html

Mahmud-ullah promised to make an impact in the impending World Cup after the all-rounder had rediscovered his batting and bowling form and is confident to leave his recent bad patch in international cricket behind him.

After playing in every game of all formats since the tour of West Indies in 2009, Mahmudullah was dropped from the starting line-up in the last three ODIs against Zimbabwe.

But the all-rounder showed signs of returning to form in the just-concluded Dhaka Premier League and is now eagerly waiting for the World Cup to begin.

'I can only say that I had a bad time but I have redeemed myself and I am confident that I will be able to perform to my ability. I am very excited and eagerly waiting for the first game,' Mahmudullah told reporters during the opening media session.

'At the beginning of last year I did well in the tri-nation series. But somehow I lost my touch and was desperate to rediscover my form in the league and I was successful. It gives me confidence to do well,' said Mahmudullah.

Mahmudullah wants to make the World Cup an occasion for him to savour by playing some breezy knocks at the lower-order which can be considered as innings of a lifetime. He is also eager to show his ability to play shots which he may require during the batting powerplay.

'I want to play a memorable innings. Because I will bat at the lower middle-order I have to do that in a quick span of time,' he said.

Mahmudullah is comfortable with the number seven position in the national team, though in the domestic league he is an upper-order batsman for his club side as well as the divisional side.

'If I could bat a bit upper in the order for the national team then it would have been good. But I have no complaint for it. I have settled down at number seven position and I am happy with that,' said the all-rounder.

Mahmudullah is in favour of taking the batting powerplay in their last phase of the game as it can at least save them from getting under too much pressure by losing too many early wickets.

'If we take batting powerplay a bit early then there is a chance that we will lose a couple of wickets at that stage which will put us in a pressure situation. That is the reason why we should take powerplay in the last five to six overs,' he said.

Despite being a decent off-spinner, Mahmudullah is happy with his role as a batting all-rounder. As a bowler his job should be to contain the opposition batsmen, thinks the Mymensingh lad.

'As there are a lot of spinners in the side I am sure the players will target me and Naeem. I will try to contain the batsman. If we can contain the batsmen then hopefully we will also get some breakthroughs,' he said.
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  #11  
Old February 9, 2011, 04:11 PM
Banglaguy Banglaguy is offline
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Default Good luck Tigers

Coming into Bangladesh's fourth World Cup, I have become nostalgic recalling the days when we worked so hard to qualify for the first time. You all know about the 1997 ICC trophy which gave us the foundation where Bangladesh cricket stands now. It was a big challenge for us and I am thankful to my Allah that we won the challenge. We were confident that we will do it as we had a nicely balanced squad and a very good preparation to back us. After winning the ICC championship the only goal ahead of us was the World Cup. Two years of intense training under his supervision paid us a rich dividend. I still remember days when we stayed at the BKSP. We were allowed to visit home only on Friday and the day when we had league matches. Due to long stay at the BKSP a bond was created between the players and that proved to be very fruitful during the World Cup. Everybody was determined to do something though in end it was an average performance from our part in our first World Cup match. I can still remember the match against Pakistan. We were defending 223 runs and somehow we all knew that this total will be hard to make against us .This kind feelings often change the course of a game I guess. This single win changed our destiny and no longer needed us to go through the tough qualifying route after winning the Test status. As an obvious outcome we are now one of the co-hosts and are going to play our fourth World Cup forcing every opponent to respect us. I have a feeling that Bangladesh will do well. The reason I am saying this is because more or less the same team is playing around for more than three years and they have started to understand each other much better now, pretty similar situation we had before we had our first World Cup. We had a strong build up before our first World Cup in the warm-up matches and I am seeing the same situation now. This time we played some extraordinary cricket against the New Zealand and the Zimbabwe. I don't think reaching semi-final would be any miracle for us. However, the primary focus should be overcoming the group stage and play the quarter-final. I like to believe we are capable of beating any team as we have a very strong batting line-up and a very capable spin unit which I think will play a vital role in the sub-continent. I certainly don't underestimate the fast bowlers as the trio included in the squad are also skilled to deliver when it is necessary. They proved for more than once. Good luck Bangladesh.

— Khaled Mahmud

former national captain (2003-04)
http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/sports/8215.html
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Old February 9, 2011, 04:18 PM
Banglaguy Banglaguy is offline
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Default Razzak eyes top spot in bolwers’ ranking

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/sports/8213.html

Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak has set his sights on the number one spot of the ICC ranking for one-day bowlers and doing it in the forthcoming World Cup would be just an icing on the cake for him.

Razzak is not too far from realising his dream as he is currently ranked number three in the world.

A brilliant performance in Bangladesh's last one-day series against Zimbabwe, in which he grabbed four or more wickets in three consecutive matches, took him to second position in the ICC raking in December.

Morne Morkel of South Africa recently overtook him in the ranking, headed by New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori, but Razzak remained firmly on course for the summit.

'To tell you the truth, I have one goal about ranking number one bowler in the world at some stage in my career,' Razzak told reporters during an open media session of the Bangladesh team on Wednesday.

'I have never set myself any target with my

bowling in the past. But this is the one I really want to achieve. It would be very nice if I can do this during the World Cup,' he said.

The one-day cricket of modern days is totally dominated by left-arm spinners with four of the top five bowlers coming from that category and Razzak is just happy to be a part of the best group in the business.

'I am not sure if only they are dominating, but it is true that the spinners are doing well. Daniel is there. Raymond Price is also doing fine and we have Sakib and me here. Now you can see a left-arm spinner in almost every team,' he said.

Razzak is ready to play whatever role he is asked to, though it is understandable he will have to bowl in the bowling powerplay.

'I have no problem with anything. Even I can open the bowling as I did in the past. But personally I would prefer to bowl with seven or eight-over old ball when the shine is off but it is still new. In that case I can get some bounce which may help,' he said.

Razzak is also ready to share the burden of skipper Sakib al Hasan, the skipper and fellow left-arm spinner, who was below-par with the ball in the two most recent series.

'Cricket is a team game and we all depend on each other. It is very natural that all eleven players will not perform similarly in a match. It is not possible for one to do all the things. He should take charge who has found the rhythm,' he said

'It is not always easy even in the sub-continent. We sometimes find us in trouble if the wicket is too hard. But it has a good side as well. Our turfs develop cracks when they become too hard and we spin more with the help of those cracks,' he said.
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  #13  
Old February 10, 2011, 01:57 PM
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Default Can Tigers Hunt in Own Den?

Staging ICC World Cup 2011 is going to be a dream come true to cricket loving Bangladeshis. The most important cricket event of the world being jointly hosted by Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka is set to be inaugurated at Bangabandhu National Stadium Dhaka on 17 the February. Three sub continental neighbors India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have already won World Cup. No one dreams about Bangladesh winning ICC World Cup yet. But Bangladesh is no longer easy prey in world cricket now. On its day it can upstage the best of the best. On their own soil in known environment buoyed by expectant home crowd Bengal tigers will definitely give a good account of themselves.

To Bangladesh and Bangladeshis months of February and March have special significance. Bangladeshis are only nation which made supreme sacrifices for establishing its mother tongue as national language on 21 st February 1952.The day is now acclaimed as International Mother Language day. Bangladeshis have golden memories of March as Father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman gave the clarion call of liberation struggle on 7th March which ultimately led to commencement of liberation war on March 26th. While Bangladesh plays world cup in its own premises the spirit of liberation war will definitely inspire Bengal tigers.

Bangladesh Cricket team- the roaring tigers will fight out in the fourteen nation ICC world cup to redeem themselves. In the last ICC World Cup 2007 Bangladesh upstaged India and South Africa. In 2011 the same oppositions including resurgent England and West Indies are Bangladesh group.

The teams in two groups are

Group A: Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada, Kenya

Group B: Bangladesh, England, India, South Africa, West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands

(Top four in each group qualify for the quarter-finals)

Since 2007 Bangladesh team has matured a lot .Specially over the last few months it achieved notable successes at international level. Bangladesh has now beaten all ICC full member countries at least once in ODI. Bangladesh has beaten England in England, white washed strong New Zealand and overcame challenges of Zimbabweans. On Bangladesh wickets and environment it has already proved a very dangerous side capable of upstaging the strongest of opposition on their day. Experts believe if it can keep its focus positive and play to full potential than there are no reasons why it can not progress from group level to second round. Once in second round it can reassess the situation and put together efforts top proceed further.

Bangladesh journey got a bit of a set back with the injury to its ace strike bowler Mashrafee Bin Murtaza .He is still struggling to get back full match fitness.It is true that Bangladesh attack will loose strike power without Mashrafee. But a young and determined unit should overcome the set back and playing like a united force can bring laurels one after another.

Bangladesh plays its first match the opening match of World Cup against hot favorites India at Shere Bangla National Stadium Meerpoor on 19th February. India in recent times proved a very strong team. But Bangladesh has past success records against them. India will be under pressure to win and will be desperate to make bright start. It is where Bangladesh is much advantageous position. In our opinion it will not be an easy match for the top favorites. Bangladesh has weapons to extend Indians to their limits. Among other teams England and South Africa also find Bangladesh hard nut to crack. West Indies and tow minnows should not cause much of a headache for Bangladesh.

Opener Tamim Iqubal along with Shewag, Gayle and Dilshan are the most fascinating batsmen in world cricket. In own backyard on his day he can blast any attack .Needless to mention that tigers success to a large extent will depend on how Tamim performs. He will be possibly partnered by solid Imrul Kayes. This pair has consistent success stories in the recent past.The right and left combination will make early impacts. Experienced inform Shahriar Nafees should bat at number three.Nafees lost the favor of establishment after joining rebel ICL and lost some confidence. But in recent time his blazing bat rekindled hopes among tiger fans. The number four position will be up for grab among Ashraful and Roquibul. If Ashraful can spark that can give Bangladesh edge aginst major opposition .But Roquibul also has solid techniques. Remainder of the middle order 5, 6 and 7 has solid quality performers –Saquib, Mushfique and Mahmudullah Riad. Saquib is the ICC top ranked all rounder Mushfique has solid technique and wide array of strokes. He can change gear any time. Mahmudullah is a good attacking batsman. For taking advantage of batting power play team may include hard hitting Naeem Islam . Shafiul, Rubel, Nazmul and Razzak will fill in the remaining slots. Bnagladesh with such array of stroke makers should consistently score 250+ which it should defend with its tight and accurate spin attack on slow low turning tracks. Shafiul, Rubel and Nazmul are also much improved new ball bowlers. If the new ball bowlers can strike early break through and bowl with intelligence at slog over – batting power play Bangladesh has world class left arm spinners to restrict opponents to sizeable scores. We hope bowling coach has worked with pacers on changing of pace and bowling Yorkers .Bangladeshi youngsters are expected to field well. Bangladesh must reamin very focused against Netherland and Ireland as they will fancy their chances as Bangladesh also.

Tigers must realize that they are dream merchants of 160 million aspiring Bangladeshis and millions of nonresident Bangladeshis all over the world.Sucees breeds success. Bengal tigers in recent times put Bangladesh brightly in world cricket map. Tigers must relentlessly and ruthlessly hunt in own den in ICC World Cup 2011.




http://www.energybangla.com/index.ph...l&article=3040
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  #14  
Old February 10, 2011, 02:07 PM
Banglaguy Banglaguy is offline
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Default By default?

Friday, February 11, 2011SportsICC Cricket World Cup 2011
Battle Plan
By default?
Mohammad IsamIf things had gone to plan since at least 2002, Mohammad Ashraful would have been the undisputed king of Bangladesh cricket. As the years have passed by, Ashraful has slowly taken the shape of a cautionary tale, a bad enough example for kids in every club across the country to be derided if they slack off after making a big one.

Now part of the 15-man squad for the World Cup, the diminutive right-hander is seemingly content at having made it to his third World Cup, only the second Bangladesh player to do so after Mohammad Rafique.

But Ashraful's confidence should come from his ascendance on big occasions though it is highly disputed that apart from the two World Cups in 2007 (50-over and Twenty20), he hasn't done much in the others. Ashraful, however, has done the job of creating big incidents: his back-to-back gems against Australia and England in 2005. The 100 and 95 made sure the whole world, through the high-strung British media, heard of this talent.

With the World Cup coming up in just over a week's time, it is wise to say that those days are well and truly over and Ashraful has to fight for a place in the middle-order, an unthinkable notion even less than three years ago.

When the fourteen cricketers left to play in the rebel Indian Cricket League (ICL), it meant that the Tigers would have to do without Aftab Ahmed, Shahriar Nafees and Alok Kapali for the foreseeable future. It was the perfect opportunity for Ashraful to stamp his authority on the team and make his presence felt as a leader. But with his form spiralling down at an alarming rate and the advent of Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Junaed Siddiqui and Rokibul Hasan, he slowly got squeezed out and after one too many dabs against Ireland in the 2009 Twenty20 World Championship, his captaincy followed suit. Nine months later, Ashraful was dropped from the home series against England, only to return as a replacement for the injured Rokibul in England a few months later.

Since that comeback (incidentally Bangladesh won that encounter in Bristol), he has played in two one-dayers scoring 13 and six, the last of which was the terribly thought out late-cut against Zimbabwe in December last year. Ashraful fought hard to be picked in that Zimbabwe series but squandered a golden opportunity. There is a suggestion that he should've been picked for at least another game but that need never came to pass.

His selection in the World Cup squad was mildly questioned in the announcing ceremony, with the big questions largely concerning Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and (surprisingly) Alok Kapali. But Ashraful was solely picked on experience and the fact he was in the 2007 World Cup squad. If that was merit enough to pick a player in the bygone era when all we ever wanted was to play a good game of cricket, it would have been justifiable, but not now. Yet, Ashraful claims he's in fine nick from the Premier League and is waiting for a small window to get back among the big runs.

There is a huge lack of support for Ashraful but nobody is denying his ability of waking up on the big day. This obviously means that the old Ashraful, who created the big day with his bat, would be nowhere in sight and it would all depend on a new version of the batsman who is casually called once-in-a-generation.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesig...php?nid=173768
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Old February 10, 2011, 02:15 PM
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Default As if it starts tomorrow

It's in the air that this port city is going to be a part of history. Big banners promoting the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 have been hoisted all over the places of this metropolis and are bound to draw your attention. So much so that when you just step into the city you will feel the carnival is not far away from you.

The port city has got into such a festive mood and the security rehearsal at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium yesterday might give you the false impression that the World Cup is starting here tomorrow! But the tournament proper comes here exactly after a month. Tomorrow's is the first official practice match of this World Cup -- between Bangladesh and Canada.

This venue will play host to two Group B matches -- the Tigers will take on England on March 11 and the Netherlands three days later.

One may still be little surprised by watching the unfinished works at different parts of the city including the main approach road to the stadium and even question could be raised whether everything like lighting, installation of players' sculptures and fountains at Neemtali area of the city, and most importantly the roads, would be ready on time.

Roads are still being dug up here and there and sporadic painting is a common scene these days. One may even get frightened at the sounds of construction work as the Tigers were practising at the middle of the stadium. From that point of view, it all was not a pleasant sight as the ball rolls on to the green turf only in two days.

But one will definitely be impressed with the improvement of the field, courtesy of golf course experts and local boy Tamim Iqbal was no exception.

"The ground now looks beautiful. I'm really impressed with the greenish outfield that was not the case when we last visited. Actually the stadium now looks beautiful and I believe it would be fantastic when all the works would be done. I'm really proud as a Chittagonian," said Tamim.

The dashing left-hander can't wait to start their World Cup campaign.

"We can now feel the heat of the tournament and eagerly waiting to play the first practice match [against Canada]," said the Bangladesh vice-captain.

"The wicket looks to be very good," observed Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons.

Top-order batsman Junaed Siddiqui, who was talking with the press after the day's practice session in the afternoon, informed that the local heroes were eagerly waiting to get the campaign kicked off.

"Everybody is keen on putting up their best in the World Cup. We can feel the heat as we are going to play our first practice match against Canada. The wicket and the outfield are really fantastic," said Junaed.

The left-handed batsman however could not recall the memory of Bangladesh's ignominious defeat against Canada in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.

"I can't remember that match. I just passed my SSC exam at that time," said a smiling Junaed.

When the players were praising the wicket and the outfield of the 18,000-plus capacity ground, venue chairman and director of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) Sirajuddin Mohammad Alamgir expressed his satisfaction at the fact that they could install the chairs on time.

"The stadium is now ready for play and the most satisfying fact is that we could install the chairs on time because we were really concerned about that," said a relived Alamgir.

The local organiser also hoped that everything would fall in place before the tournament proper got underway.

"We are hopeful that the roads and beautification work of the city and stadium will be completed on time," he added.
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesig...php?nid=173767
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  #16  
Old February 11, 2011, 09:16 AM
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why dont u put that battle plan article in the battle plan thread?
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haruk ba jituk,i am always there with BDcricket!!!!
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  #17  
Old February 11, 2011, 02:51 PM
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Default The Tigers' talisman

It was the third day of the first Test against a second-string West Indies side in St. Vincent in mid-2009. There had been some rain around, but the big story of the match was that Bangladesh had lost their new skipper, Mashrafe Mortaza, during play the previous day.

Mashrafe, the team's best bowler as well as their leader, had pulled up after bowling the third ball of his seventh over with an injury to his right knee. Into the breach stepped Shakib Al Hasan. His Test career had just completed its second year, and he now found himself in a quite unfamiliar position; leading the country in a Test they were expected to win, and that too with a strike bowler shy of a full attack.

The West Indies opener, Omar Phillips, was batting well, and threatening to make short shrift of the visitors' first innings total of 238. The stand-in skipper, after lunch, had instructed his bowlers to bowl a tight line just outside off stump and packed the infield with run-saving fielders. Soon, one of the fielders on the offside, Rokibul Hasan, was brought closer in and positioned in an unusually square short cover. Sure enough, Omar Phillips, who had displayed the tendency to drive in the air square on the off side, drove on the up straight to Rokibul off Rubel Hossain, in the process falling six short of a morale-boosting century.

That dismissal of Omar Phillips hinted at a cricketing mind the sharpness of which Bangladesh had been missing all through their existence as one of cricket's elite teams. Let alone Bangladesh, it is a shrewdness few international captains exhibit in the era of burgeoning backroom staff and computer analysis. Above all, it showed Shakib's propensity to think on his feet rather than be tutored by the coach and backroom staff during the breaks.

It is no coincidence, therefore, that Shakib is the ideal man to lead the team into a new era of competence and strength. As a captain he is the most aggressive Bangladesh have had, and with him at the helm, the previous era of 'just competing is enough' has been truly put to rest. It helps also that his performances with both bat and ball are stellar, never more so than during last year's 4-0 drubbing of New Zealand. He leads by example, but it is not just the example of his cricketing skills, it is an example of attitude.

One of cricket's abiding myths is that a captain is as good or bad as his team. Bangladesh's example proves that it is only partly true. A good captain lifts an underachieving team into a competitive one. An ordinary one makes sure that underachievers stay underachievers. One can only imagine how deflating it was to watch a captain play out the last over of an ODI match as a maiden, that too against a part-time bowler.

That is exactly what Mohammad Ashraful did in the first match of the Kitply Cup against Pakistan when he played out a maiden against Younis Khan in his quest to see his side not bowled out, and thereby be 'competitive'. Yet, with the same team, and only a month later, Bangladesh trounced the West Indies in their backyard. The only difference was the captain. Contrast the last over maiden with the six Shakib hit off express bowler Kemar Roach to seal the second Test, and you will get a clearer picture of the change in attitude he brings.

With all things Bangla-deshi, however, comes a cautionary reminder. On occasion, Shakib has displayed a fiery temper and has not been shy of making the odd controversial statement; once even saying that it was not his team and thereby seeming to evade responsibility. He should remember that the best captains are those who unite teams under one banner and create an environment in which all the talent on offer can be expressed and fulfilled. This is his team, and that lesson would be a good one to take into the World Cup and beyond.


http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesig...php?nid=173847
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Old February 11, 2011, 02:54 PM
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Default World Cup Needs Surprises

Every tournament worthy of its name needs an upset or two. The magic of the FA Cup thrives on third round clashes at difficult venues where the odds of an almighty shock can rise as conditions even out differences between playing squads. Remember the green top in 2007 where Ireland beat a world-weary Pakistan? Usually, in the case of 50 over cricket, there is not much manoeuvre for such a scenario as the better team can afford to have an upset or two during the match but recover well in time to cruise to victory. Moreover, in the mini league format, an unexpected defeat is not a mortal blow

The problem with the World Cup - the long version - is that it is prone to huge lulls in play, unlike the soccer-style duration of a Twenty20 game where anything can happen. When the Dutch beat England at Lord's during the World Twenty20 in 2009, they were helped by a go for it attitude, aided and abetted by England's conservatism. Dirk Nannes said at the time: "It was like they didn't want to play a big shot and get out against the Dutch and I think that probably cost them." There is more time for quality to shine through during 100 overs as opposed to 40.

When the Kenyans beat Sri Lanka in the 2003 World Cup on their way to securing a semi-final spot there were mitigating circumstances. For a start, the game was played in Nairobi. "Kenya chased like lion cubs, backed up in gangs and jigged after every wicket," reported Wisden. "Sri Lanka, by contrast, simply moped." But these circumstances do not happen often. As their captain Steve Tikolo said: We were confident of beating the Sri Lankans as we were playing our first match of the World Cup before our home fans." Today's Kenya is still relying on an out of touch and ageing Tikolo and a team that were battered by youth in the recent tour of India.

So what is there to fear for the big boys in this tournament? In Group A, Australia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Pakistan ought to fill the top four spots. Zimbabwe have impressed in the warm up games, and Brendan Taylor's firebrand starts might turn a few heads, but their mentality and squad does not allow them to compete for long periods.

In Group B, India and South Africa look the class acts against the paperweights of Ireland and the Netherlands and a lightweight division made up of England and the West Indies, the current cripples of one day cricket. In fact, during the last two and a half years, the Caribbean outfit have endured a dreadful run in the 50 over format, not winning a single series and failing to beat a Test team for 18 months.

Bangladesh is the nation that might be able to punch above its weight on more than one occasion, especially as Andrew Strauss's men come into the tournament creaking already. It won't be a surprise if England and West Indies get overturned by Shakib Al Hasan's team. Tamim Iqbal is the kind of player that can give the tournament an adrenaline shot.
When India beat Clive Lloyd's mighty team in 1983 in the World Cup final at Lord's it elevated one day cricket into the global stratosphere. Almost three decades later, the arteries of the 50 over spectacle have been clogged mercilessly by mercenary cricket boards and unsympathetic organisers. The joylessness of the 2007 tournament was evident for all to see, and with the schedule still an interminable one, it will need more than one bolt from the blue to captivate the audience.

http://www.cricket365.com/news/story...eeds-Surprises
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Old February 11, 2011, 04:41 PM
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Default Looking forward to ICC World Cup 2011

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.co...ate=2011-02-12
The 10th ICC World Cup (2011), which is scheduled to kickstart on February 17 at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka and to be held across Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, will witness 14 nations fighting for cricket's most prestigious prize. The host countries - Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka - are now busy in giving a facelift to the tournament venues. But this mega event is especially significant for Bangladesh. This is the first time the country is going to co-host the cricket World Cup.The spot-light is on and millions are waiting for the big moment. The cities, Dhaka and Chittagong, which are the venues of the eight games including two quarter-finals, are getting renovated.

Holding of such important matches, after the knock-out World Cup in 1998, is really rare in the history of Bangladesh. At the same time, successful holding of the matches is a big challenge for the country. Any disturbance will simply be a matter of disgrace. The authority has taken a well thought-out decision of freeing Dhaka city's major areas from beggars and hawkers as the presence of those floating people may give the foreigners a bad image regarding the country's socio-economic condition. These types of measures were also taken in the past but due to rehabilitation problems all the attempts ended in smoke. Besides freeing from floating people, smooth traffic has to be ensured.

Cricket, being a funny game, today is not only a game but also a brand and this is a rare opportunity of branding the nation by portraying it positively. Thousands of foreigners are expected to come in Bangladesh and this may brand the country as a tourism destination to the world's community.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh squad has been announced after a drama over exclusion of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza. No doubt about that 100 per cent fit Mashrafee, who can add some runs quickly as a tail order, is the best fast bowler in the country. But in a tournament like World Cup, taking any risk could be very costly. Probably, excluding Mashrafe, the selectors have taken the right decision. Beating New Zealand fair and square in ODI series, Bangladesh team is in a good shape. Again, the advantage of home ground with so many supporters would boost the confidence level of the tigers.

Many times the weakness in batting, which is heavily dependent on Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan, has been clearly noticed. Mohammad Ashraful, the youngest cricketer to score a century in debut Test, is the anchor of many superb victories such as against Australia, South Africa etc. He needs to check his extravagant shots. At least some runs are needed on the board to defend by the bowlers. Bangladeshi team will certainly miss the experience of Mashrafe, country's leading fast bowler, who'll be missing the World Cup due to injury. Even though the team has a good quality spin bowling attack, it lacks a class fast bowler. Bangladeshi spin bowling attack can be marked as one of the best in its own conditions. Razzak along with Shakib, the leading wicket taker in ODI in the season, has proved it many times and can beat the bats of the best players again in home conditions.

Till now, Bangladesh has always been under-rated in the cricket world but this time, especially being in good form, it can surely turn the things around. They have shown, many a time that they are capable of winning matches against the best of the world. If Kenya, being a non-Test playing nation, could make it to the semi-finals, the tigers can do the very best especially in front of so many supporters. For that, all the cylinders have to be burnt together. Let's wait and hope for the best.
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Old February 11, 2011, 04:44 PM
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Default We are ready for Bangladesh: Sehwag

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/s...ow/7479230.cms
BANGALORE: Virender Sehwag is ready for Bangladesh, whom India take on in the 2011 World Cup opener. In a chat with the media on Friday, he said: "I think so far we have lost just one or two games against Bangladesh --- one in the World Cup and may be one in Bangladesh. So our record against Bangladesh is very good."

He then added that he was charged up to play them again. "We know that in the last World Cup we lost against them and we have been waiting for that moment when we will play against them in the World Cup. We are charged up," he said.

Does the team have him play in any particular manner, are they satisfied with his cameos at the top or do they expect him to play long?

"I think nobody is telling me what to do. The good part of Team India is the fact that the coach and the captain allow me to bat the way I know to bat. So they are not putting any pressure on me and they say just go and play your natural game. And if you score runs we are happy and if you don't score runs then also we are happy.

"My role is to go out there and enjoy myself and give a good start to the team. If I score 20 runs in 10 balls or may be 100 in 70-80 balls I am happy with that. As long as I am scoring more than zero I am happy."

Indeed but the same man later said that he wished to bat for the whole 50 overs in an innings. "I think I have never played 50 overs in a match, the maximum I have played is about 42 or 44 overs. So this time I will try to bat full fifty overs if I can and give a good start to the team," said Sehwag.

About bowling a few overs, Sehwag, who is recovering from a shoulder injury was more circumspect. "I am taking regular treatment and it (shoulder) should be fine by the time we play the matches. Yes of course I want to contribute to the team. I don't want to try in the nets and get injured again. So it's better that when I feel that I am better I can start bowling," he said.

Read more: We are ready for Bangladesh: Sehwag - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/s...#ixzz1Dgn6CkLH
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Old February 11, 2011, 04:51 PM
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Default Ctg ready to host WC

http://newagebd.com/newspaper1/sports/8312.html
With the Tigers already in the city and Canada due to land this morning, the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong is ready to give Bangladesh's World Cup mission a kick-start with the first official warm-up game on February 12.

A quick look into the ground on Thursday dispelled much of the concerns that had once made the venue an embarrassment for Bangladesh.

A lush green outfield gave hopes of high scoring matches here, something which was unthinkable even a month ago.

During the last one-day international match played here between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe Tamim Iqbal had to go for sixes than taking singles only because it was tough for him to take any run hitting through the ground.

It left many wondering what would happen during the World Cup with the slow outfield and dry grass.

The organisers took the help of the local golf club staff who with their specially designed machine made the grass thinner making the outfield faster. They planted some new grass and used different equipment to give it a fresh look.

Sirajuddin Alamgir, the venue in-charge, heaved a sigh of relief as the installation of chairs at the gallery has also been completed.

Chittagong was recently cited as an example by the Indians after the ICC denied the Kolkata Eden Gardens the hosting rights of the India-England match, but it is now clear that there should not be any confusion about the Bangladesh-England match here.

By the time England will arrive here for their first World Cup match on March 11, everything will be completely ready, hoped Alamgir, also a director of the Bangladesh Cricket Board.

'We have some works still left. But it is no longer a worry for us. I am sure everything will be ready before the World Cup finally comes here,' he said.

'The Chittagong City Corporation is also working closely with us to give the city a facelift. I am sure you will see a different city during the World Cup time,' Alamgir added.
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  #22  
Old February 13, 2011, 07:34 AM
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Default Bangladesh could be a team to watch out for

KOLKATA: Home conditions, current form, youthful vigour and a balanced team composition could make Bangladesh the side to watch out for in the cricket World Cup which is set to go cracking next week in the sub-continent.

Now ranked the world's number eight one-day international team, the co-hosts of cricket's showpiece event have the advantage of playing all their group matches on home soil, beginning with the game's opener against India in Dhaka on Saturday.

The inaugural match itself could bring back nostalgic memories for the Shakib-al-Hassan led Bangladesh team. Several of the present crop of players were in the side which had inflicted a shock five-wicket defeat on India in the previous edition of the World Cup in the Caribbean.

The 2007 World Cup proved to be a fairy tale of sorts for the populous South Asian nation which marched into the Super Eight where they again scalped South Africa before making an honourable exit.

The showing had signalled to the cricketing fraternity that Bangladesh - which has taken part in all World Cups since 1999 - could no more be considered pushovers on the big stage. It was also a sharp improvement from Bangladesh's poor record in the 2003 World Cup, where they ended up losing all their matches.

The team's build up to the coming quadrennial extravaganza - also hosted by India and Sri Lanka - has also been promising. Bangladesh annihilated New Zealand 4-0 before finishing off 2010 with an emphatic 3-1 win over Zimbabwe in limited over competitions at home. They also gave a scare to England before losing 1-2 in an away series.

Shakib seems confident.

"We have been playing good cricket for the last 15 months, and if we qualify for the second round, why not think of something big," Shakib said recently. "We need to win at least four matches to win a place in the second round. It is not difficult. I think we are capable of booking a place in the second round."

Clubbed in group B, alongside formidable England, India, West Indies, South Africa, and minnows Netherlands and Ireland, Bangladesh's hopes lie mainly on the multi-faceted abilities of Shakib - rated the world's leading all-rounder in ODIs now - as also the exploits of aggressive left hand opener Tamim Iqbal, flamboyant middle order campaigner Mohammad Ashraful and experienced left arm spinner Abdur Razzak.

Shakib, Tamim and Razzak were vital cogs in Bangladesh's impressive Cup outing in 2007, and would provide the much needed experience to a young side with an average age of around 24.

Razzak (28) is the oldest player in the squad, while eight of the 15 members are yet to make their debut in the high-profile tournament.

The bowling, however, has been considerably weakened by the absence of the injured Mashrafe Mortaza, and much would depend on young Shafiul Islam's success with the new ball alongside Rubel Hossain.

Squad: Shakib-al-Hassan (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Abdur Razzak, Mohammad Ashraful Suhrawadi Shuvo, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Mushfiqur Rahim (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Mahmudullah, Naeem Islam, Raqibul Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Shahriar Nafees, Shafiul Islam and Nazmul Hossain.

Fixtures: Feb 19 vs India (Dhaka), Feb 25 vs Ireland (Dhaka), Mar 4 vs West Indies (Dhaka), Mar 11 vs England (Chittagong), Mar 14 vs Netherlands (Chittagong), Mar 19 vs South Africa (Dhaka).

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/s...ow/7488107.cms
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  #23  
Old February 13, 2011, 07:38 AM
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Default Batsmen to watch out for at the World Cup

http://www.sportskeeda.com/2011/02/1...he-world-cup/#

As we close in on the much awaited event of cricket here is a look at some of the top picks who would charm us with their dazzling performances all through the tournament. First we look at the batsmen who would not just hold the key for their sides but will also be stand out performers in the World Cup and possibly be the leading scorers of the tournament. So here are my top-6 picks:

6. Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh): Most of the readers would be surprised, or rather shocked with my first choice, but mind you take this enterprising opener lightly at your own peril. Remember he is the same player who took the game away from India in 2007. He is dynamic and aggressive and has consistently proved his worth for the tigers. Each World Cup springs up a surprise and in this edition all eyes will be on Bangladesh. They are the co-hosts, have performed superbly over the last few months and have a team hungry to perform. But one man who would hold the key is Tamim Iqbal. If he gives them a good start this team could do wonders.

Last year was one of the best years for Tamim and Bangladesh cricket. Tamim scored 151 against India in a test at Dhaka and then after a few good half centuries, had the most fascinating test series’ in England, where he scored 103 of 100 balls at Lords’ and 108 of 114 balls at Manchester. Tamim has also done well in the 50-over game in 2010. He had an average of 51 in a 3-match series against England in Bangladesh. While, in the last series against Zimbabwe he averaged 40. He may not have been in the league of the best last year but surely has shown enough promise and will be a man to watch out for this year.

5. Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan): Yet another opener, yet another surprise. Expectations are little from Hafeez in a team that boasts of Younis Khan, Misbah ul Haq and Shahid Afridi but ask Pakistan how much it depends on this stylish right-hander. Hafeez is one of very few cricketers across the world who fits in all forms of the game and has been assigned the same role in all the three formats. The only other player who comes to mind is Australia’s Shane Watson.

Hafeez is not just responsible to give his side a flying start but is also given the role of holding the innings together. He may not have been the top scorer for Pakistan last year but has done well consistently for the team and will be a player to watch out for this world cup. He also is a handy off-spinner and can chip in with 6-7 overs which makes him a valuable asset. Hafeez, who has had to make a number of comebacks in the Pakistan team, had a decent tour of New Zealand where he scored a century in the closing phases of the tour. He also averaged 40 against South Africa in the preceding tour in UAE.

4. Miachael Clarke (Australia): He was booed by his own fans. His feet weren’t moving; he found atypical ways to get out and was going though the leanest patch of his career. But as they say “form is temporary, but class permanent.” Clarke has hit back. He got two 50s in his last two internationals just ahead of the big tournament to announce the world that Clarke is back and the world better watch out now.

The Aussie vice-captain will be a huge difference in his country’s bid for a fourth world cup on the trot. He is an aggressive stroke player and a treat to watch when in full flow. He also gives his team a handy left-arm spinning option and has done fairly well on Indian conditions.

3. Jonathan Trott (England): The England number three is in the form of his life. After a fantastic Ashes where he scored 445 runs at an average of 89, he kept the good nick going in the 7-match one-day series against the Aussies. England were thrashed 6-1 in the series but Trott stood out scoring 375 runs at an average of 62.5. He scored two centuries in the Ashes and followed it up with two in the ODIs.

Trott maybe new to International cricket but in his first few years he has proved that he has hunger for scoring big runs. He puts price on his wicket and likes to carry on for long periods even after getting a century. The South African born batsman has got a good temperament and sound technique. He would be leading the English charge in the World Cup while Kevin Pietersen, skipper Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell will be the other key members who would need to support Trott if England wishes to lift the trophy on April 2.

2. Hashim Amla (South Africa): One man who has taken the world by storm in the past year is the opener from South Africa. We all know that Amla is a proven test match batsman, but in the last year he has developed into a dangerous one-day player. If one looks at the last 7 series’ involving South Africa, one player who has consistently flourished is Amla. He averaged 80 against Zimbabwe; 51 against England; 60 against India; 80 against West Indies; 81 against Zimbabwe; 72 against Pakistan and 62 against India in the last 7 series’. His overall one-day average is 59.88 that include seven centuries. Six of those hundreds came in 2010 which is just why I believe Amla would be one of the top performers in this mega event. Amla’s solidity makes him a difficult player to dislodge and his ability to bat in any sort of condition makes him South Africa’s most consistent cricketer.

If Proteas have to do well in this World Cup Amla would have to continue his form while Graeme Smith, Jaquese Kallis and AB de Villiers will have to play around him.

1. Gautam Gambhir (India): India’s $2.4 million man will be the one to watch out for this world cup. Indeed he has been out of action for a while and did not have a good game against the Aussies in the warm-up game, but Gambhir is a big match player and knows how to lift himself on the biggest stage.

The elegant southpaw plays according to the demands of the situation. He can be aggressive on top but can also play the holding role to perfection. In a team of strokemakers, there has to be one player who needs to anchor the innings and launch into the attack whenever needed, and Gambhir is technically adept to play that role. The 2009 ICC cricketer of the year can walk down to fastest of bowlers and smash them out of the park, while shift gears and play as a sheet anchor in the same innings. If India are to win the tournament Gambhir would have a crucial role to play. He has a phenomenal track record having an average of 40 in ODIs and 51 in tests and will surely be a delight to watch in this tournament.
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  #24  
Old February 13, 2011, 04:11 PM
Banglaguy Banglaguy is offline
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Default Tigers stuck, fans too kept waiting

When thousands of fans queued up for opening ceremony tickets across Dhaka and while Shoaib Akhtar was speaking his heart out in Sheraton, the big news was of the national cricketers being stranded in Chittagong yesterday. That the World Cup has truly arrived was further reaffirmed when the England cricket team arrived to play two warm-up games.

According to our Chittagong correspondent, the Bangladesh and Canada cricket teams waited for more than two hours at the Shah Amanat International Airport after the Bangladesh Biman aircraft experienced a glitch forcing the cricketers and other passengers to get off the plane after it taxied off around 11:55am.

Though the BG022 flight eventually took off at 2:15pm, Biman's station manager Abul Kashem said that the plane was at the edge of the runway when the crew realised the malfunction. "As it was about to take-off at the edge of the runway, the flight crews stopped it noticing some technical fault," he said.

Rumours circulated all afternoon but eventually the cricketers arrived in Dhaka, but without five players of the Canada side who were too perturbed by the experience. They took a separate Regent Airways flight at 2:00pm, arranged by the local organisers.

Chaos returned to the streets of the capital yesterday as Dhaka Bank began selling tickets for the World Cup's opening ceremony to be held on February 17.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board informed that 9,700 tickets were equally distributed to ten branches of the private bank and though the sale will run till the day of the event, it is predicted that most of it has been sold out. There were irregularities in several branches as people were being given only one ticket per person when it was stated that one person can buy a maximum of two tickets.

Early in the morning, Pakistan cricketers Younis Khan, Umar Gul, Shoaib Akhtar and Misbahul Haq made their assertions for the World Cup with the Rawalpindi Express proclaiming that the dangerous side are hurting from the spot-fixing ordeal that resulted in three players being suspended.

The Andrew Strauss-led England arrived in town and have also declared their stake on the trophy, sensing his team has an "excellent chance".
http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesig...php?nid=174161
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  #25  
Old February 13, 2011, 04:59 PM
Banglaguy Banglaguy is offline
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Default Mortaza acknowledges there is no chance left...

Bangladesh all-rounder Mashrafe Mortaza is disappointed that he could not make it to the national squad for the World Cup and is also surprised by the reaction of his fans, who went rioting and formed a 300km long human chain, protesting his non-inclusion.

The 27-year-old Narail-born seamer injured his right knee recently and was ignored by the selectors. Mortaza had claimed he was fit, but the Bangladesh Cricket Board selectors chose to leave him out.

“It is disappointing to have been left out of the squad. We are playing at home for the first time (in the World Cup). I can’t do anything about it, I’ll try and make a comeback as soon as possible,” Mortaza told DNA from Bangladesh.

The all-rounder’s fans wreaked havoc by protesting against his non-inclusion with a half-day strike. “I am thankful for all the support from my fans. However, I don’t agree with riots and people getting injured. It feels nice to see people out there shouting your name. This shows their love for me. It is hard to see this kind of love for sportspersons anymore. I am overwhelmed,” Mortaza said.

Mortaza, who has featured in 118 ODIs, is now focusing on making a comeback. “Talking about why I was not picked won’t help me get into the side now. I am thinking about the future now. I hope to make a comeback soon. I am training hard,” he said.

As far as Bangladesh’s chances in the World Cup are concerned, Mortaza feels they are an improved unit. “We have done really well in the past few series against Zimbabwe, England and, of course, New Zealand. We are playing really well and the boys are confident of putting up a better show this time. If we play up to our potential, we can qualify for the knockouts,” he said.

The former Kolkata Knight Riders player reckons India and Sri Lanka are the title favourites. “For me, it’s India, closely followed by Sri Lanka. India have a balanced side with a great batting line-up and a superb bowling attack. Dhoni has been a good leader while everyone knows what Yusuf Pathan can do. Do I need to say what Tendulkar is? He is my icon and a great batsman,” said Mortaza.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?sourc...q=acknowledges
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