Bangladesh cricket


Did anyone else notice that England were playing test cricket? It kind of by-passed me somewhat. Haven’t we just played Bangladesh? Didn’t we wallop them this time last year?

With all due respect to Jonathan Trott, The cricket can tumble on. I just flicked on Sky Sports to be confronted by its regular piece on various club teams from around the UK. I caught Workington and St Helens before turning off because, almost instinctively, I don’t like them.

It’s not that they are necessarily bad or unpleasant teams. They may be a cracking bunch of lads. It’s just that I’ve grown to instinctively dislike the opposition. I’ll pick out the fancy dans, the sloggers and the ‘all the gear’ types. Somehow I know that there will be some dreadful chat, shouts of ‘great shot Rich’ to nicks between keeper and slips and that the late-teen to mid-20s players will all be horrendously spoiled little buggers that are rude to their mothers despite getting their whites cleaned for them by those too scared to stop pandering to their little darlings.

I also know that them being on Sky Sports regularly will cause egos to inflate to the point that even the small and friendly sides will catch ‘big club syndrome’, and that the big clubs will be even more unbearable than they were before.

I also – instinctively – know that a half decent side that I am part of would wipe the floor with all of them put together and see them off with a caustic, inspired and intelligent chirp.

I may also be slightly bitter that my team hasn’t been picked. Bastards.

Sorry, but I’m feeling old today 😉

England just beat Bangladesh 2 – nil in a test series, after winning something called one day internationals 3 – nil. Captain Cook was in charge, apparently someone called Kevin Pietersen found some touch and a small ginger person called Ian Bell found some balls. I was fairly sure I knew there was some cricket on the telly, Christ – I pay £40 a month to ensure I can watch it, but most of it was on while I was asleep, and I couldn’t be arsed to get sleep deprived for this series. And then I kept missing the highlights. Hey, no worries though, this weekend I can watch four IPL games, for free on ITV 4, whooopeee!

Every now and again The Village Cricketer is sent material for consideration to include on the post. Sometimes its complete crap, so we don’t include it, on other occasions its worth using. A corporate giant has coughed up for this one, hiring pro cricket writer Philip Oliver, yes that Philip Oliver, to spread the word. His opinions are not necessarily shared by me, but in the spirit of fair play and all that I’ll give you some perspective. Enjoy…

Much ink has been spilled over England’s decision to rest Andrew Strauss from their tour of Bangladesh.

Many suggest that the England captain should lead his team at every opportunity, but the real problem with Strauss’ exclusion is not the moral implications of an absent leader, but the fact it could leave England exposed.

The squad will depart for Bangladesh not only without its captain, but also without its best strike bowler as James Anderson is also being given a rest. None touring squad have played international cricket in Bangladesh before, so the absence of key players could be significant.

Even though the cricket betting makes England strong favourites, Bangladesh should not be taken lightly. Despite their recent Test series defeat by India they are an improving team whose 2-0 win in West Indies last year should not be written off as a victory against weakened opposition.

They have a genuine Test all-rounder in new skipper Shakib Al-Hasan and he is capable of turning matches with both bat and ball. His slow left arm bowling will play an important role in the series.

Fellow spinning all-rounder Mahmudullah was excellent against India, maintaining a fine start to his Test career. His form suggests he can join his skipper as a frontline player in both disciplines. At the same time, talented young wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim and swashbuckling opening batsman Tamim Iqbal both made batting breakthroughs against India, striking their best Test scores.

All these players are just as dangerous in ODI cricket and England are perhaps more vulnerable in the shorter form of the game, the online sports betting odds certainly suggest this is the case. With next year’s World Cup being played in the subcontinent Strauss might have missed an opportunity to gain valuable captaining experience. Worse still, England could come unstuck on this tour.

I’ll comment on this later, but in the meantime, here is the ECB’s media release:

England today announced a 15-man one-day squad and a 16-man Test squad for the forthcoming tour to the United Arab Emirates and Bangladesh, which departs on February 13.

The selectors have opted to rest Andrew Strauss from the tour and he will be replaced as Test and one-day captain by the current vice-captain Alastair Cook.

Paul Collingwood will lead the side in the two Twenty20 internationals against Pakistan in UAE, which precede the tour of Bangladesh.

James Anderson has also been rested from the tour in order to undergo a specialist review and a programme of rehabilitation for his chronic right knee injury.

It is anticipated that following the rehabilitation period, he will be fully fit and available for selection for the ICC World Twenty20 in the West Indies in late April.

Two uncapped players, the Yorkshire pace bowler Ajmal Shahzad and the Kent off-spinner James Tredwell, have won places in both squads while another uncapped player, Hampshire batsman Michael Carberry, has been included in the Test squad.

National selector Geoff Miller said: “Andrew Strauss has provided outstanding leadership for the team in both forms of the game over the past 12 months and the selectors feel it is important that he takes a break ahead of an extremely busy programme of international cricket leading up to and including the Ashes series in Australia and the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011.

“Our decision to appoint Alastair Cook to the Test vice-captaincy last year clearly demonstrated the belief that he has the potential to be a future England captain.

“Alastair will now have an opportunity to develop his leadership skills still further by leading the side in both forms of cricket in Bangladesh and I know that he is excited by the challenge and looking forward to working closely with Andy Flower.

“Paul Collingwood had an excellent tour of South Africa in all forms of cricket and he will continue to lead the side in the T20 format, with the two T20 internationals against the current world champions Pakistan providing excellent preparation for us ahead of the World T20 in the Caribbean.

“We are delighted to welcome Ajmal Shahzad to both squads for the first time. He enjoyed an excellent season with Yorkshire last year, made a strong impression while he was in South Africa with the EPP squad and is a bowler with the potential to make a real impact in international cricket.

“James Tredwell and Michael Carberry have also continued to impress the selectors over the course of the winter and we expect both players to make a strong challenge for inclusion in our starting line-up on the forthcoming tour. ”

One-day squad
Alastair Cook (captain, Essex)
Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Paul Collingwood (Durham)
Joe Denly (Kent)
Eoin Morgan (Middlesex)
Matt Prior (wkt, Sussex)
Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire)
Liam Plunkett (Durham)
Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire)
Ajmal Shahzad (Yorkshire)
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)
James Tredwell (Kent)
Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)
Luke Wright (Sussex)

Test squad
Alastair Cook (captain, Essex)
Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Michael Carberry (Hampshire)
Paul Collingwood (Durham)
Steven Davies (wkt, Surrey)
Graham Onions (Durham)
Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire)
Liam Plunkett (Durham)
Matt Prior (wkt, Sussex)
Ajmal Shahzad (Yorkshire)
Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire)
Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire)
James Tredwell (Kent)
Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)
Luke Wright (Sussex)

Full schedule

England in UAE
Feb 14: Teams arrive in Dubai
Feb 15-16: Practice, Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
Feb 17: Pakistan A v Pakistan, T20, Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Feb 17: England v England Lions, T20, Abu Dhabi
Feb 18: Practice, Dubai
Feb 19: Pakistan v England, 1st T20 (evening), Dubai
Feb 20: Pakistan v England 2nd T20 (evening), Dubai
Feb 21: England depart for Bangladesh

England in Bangladesh 2010, updated schedule
Feb 21: Team arrives, Zia International Airport, Dhaka
Feb 22: Rest and practice, venue TBC
Feb 23: Warm-up match v BCB XI, Narayanganj Osmani Stadium, Fatullah
Feb 24: Rest and practice, TBC
Feb 25: Warm-up match v BCB XI, Narayanganj Osmani Stadium, Fatullah
Feb 26: Rest and practice, Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka
Feb 27: Rest and practice, Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka
Feb 28: Bangladesh v England, 1st ODI, Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka
Mar 1: Rest and practice, Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka
Mar 2: Bangladesh v England, 2nd ODI, Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka
Mar 3: Travel to Chittagong, Jahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
Mar 4: Rest and practice, Jahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
Mar 5: Bangladesh v England, 3rd ODI, Jahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
Mar 6: Rest and practice, Jahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong.
Mar 7-9: Warm-up match v Bangladesh A, MA Aziz Stadium, Chittagong
Mar 10-11: Rest and practice, Jahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
Mar 12-16: Bangladesh v England, 1st Test, Jahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong
Mar 16: Travel to Dhaka
Mar 17-19: Rest and practice, Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka
Mar 20-24: Bangladesh v England, 2nd Test, Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka
Mar 25: Depart from Zia International Airport, Dhaka

I’d largely ignored the West Indies 3rd XI v Bangladesh series because there was Ashes and some good county cricket to watch on Sky. Now, however, I wished I had been able to watch it. Why? Well, not because of the standard of cricket, but because of the fact that none other than the great Floyd Lamonte Reifer (in tribute to whom the Keele Reefer Association flies its flag) has been able to have a second crack at international cricket, 10 years since he last had a go. It took a strike for him to do so, but the prediction he made back in November 2007 – that he’d be back – has come to pass.

“It’s four again, Johan Louwe is being mutilated here!”