New-look Bangladesh cricket team begins training

September 23rd, 2008 - 2:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Sep 23 (IANS) A very different looking Bangladesh cricket team has begun training for the home series against New Zealand, a week after 13 players left the team to play in the Indian Cricket League (ICL) as the “Dhaka Warriors” team.The new-look national team of 40 probables, that includes many uncapped players, clad in the colours of national flag, began with a sprint during the training session on the opening day Monday. The camp, The Daily Star newspaper noted, began “on a sombre mood”.

Whatever the level of experience of the new team, Bangladesh’s Australian coach Jamie Siddons said it was good enough to beat New Zealand.

Skipper Mohammad Ashraful, who returned from England Monday morning immediately joined the camp. He was barred by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) officials from having an encounter with the reporters.

“The Bangladesh captain was tipped as the man behind the mass resignation last week that saw 13 players risk their domestic and international careers by signing for the banned Indian Cricket League (ICL) which has put the board in a spot of bother on international scene,” said the newspaper.

“The embargo on Ashraful was an effort to recover from the turbulent last week when the board banned the 13 rebel cricketers for 10 years each that included seven contracted players,” it added.

“This is a special situation and he (Ashraful) has just returned from England. We want to talk with him (Ashraful) first and then he will talk with the media,” said BCB’s media committee chairman Ahmed Sajjadul Alam while confirming that a temporary embargo has been imposed on the captain.

According to New Age newspaper, Coach Siddons believes Ashraful is innocent and has made the right decision by turning down the ICL offer that was made to him.

“I think Ash is a pretty honest person. As soon as he was approached, he let everyone know and discussed that openly with them and I think he has made the right decision,” Siddons was quoted as saying.

While the board made no secret about its tough stance in the aftermath of the ICL fallout, it also tried to demonstrate the patriotic zeal evident amongst the players on the first day of the training where the cricketers wore bandanas and sported T-shirts in national colours.

Of the 24 probables selected, seven were absent on the opening day and middle-order batsman Rajin Saleh and Enamul Haque, the men from Sylhet, are expected to join the camp Tuesday while five young cricketers - Imrul Kayes, Nayeem Islam, Shamsur Rahman, Sohrawordi Shuvo and Mahbubul Alam - are now touring with the academy team in Sri Lanka.

New Zealand will arrive here Sep 30 to play two Tests and three one-day internationals in Dhaka and Chittagong.

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