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Bangladesh focus on Zim tour

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DHAKA — The Tigers will get a long break from international cricket after completion of the exciting Asia Cup as their next international assignment is against Zimbabwe in August.

After the region’s biggest cricket competition, the main question surrounding Bangladesh cricket was whether the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) would be able to chalk out a proper plan during the off-season before the Zimbabwe tour and ICC Twenty20 (T20) World Cup to be held in September in Sri Lanka.

Many had cited lack of preparation as one of the main reasons behind the Tigers’ disastrous performance on the last tour of Zimbabwe in July-August last year, which is why the cricket operations committee wanted to take some necessary actions to make sure the Tigers go into the tour with adequately prepared.

“The cricket operations committee met today to discuss the planning, where the head coach was also present. We are not ready to face the same criticism that we faced after the last Zimbabwe tour. We may go to any European country like Ireland and Scotland for preparation. Some other options were also discussed. Actually, we will now work out the feasible options,” said Enayet Hossain Siraj, chairman of the BCB’s cricket operations committee, yesterday.

“You know our domestic commitments will end by April 20 and after that we will get three months for preparation and we want to Make best preparation this time. We also discussed preparations for the T20 World Cup,” he added.

After completion of the Premier Division Cricket Super League matches, the last matches of the second phase of the National Cricket League will be held on April 10-13 while the final is scheduled for April 16-20.

It was learnt that coach Stuart Law expressed his desire to arrange a three-week conditioning camp in Melbourne during the off time, but BCB may not consent to his idea because of the huge expense.

Zimbabwe Cricket has been trying to convince their Bangladesh counterparts to change the tour schedule from August to October-November, but officials in the BCB were divided regarding the proposal.

Some believe it would be better for the Tigers to tour in October-November because conditions in August are very cool while others weren’t ready to sacrifice domestic cricket by changing the schedule.

“We will go to Zimbabwe in August as per earlier scheduled, otherwise our domestic cricket will suffer,” said Siraj.

As per schedule Bangladesh will play two T20Is, two Tests and three one-day matches in Zimbabwe, but BCB is trying to add one more Test, which has been pending for long.

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