Bangladesh national hockey team, still smarting from 0-7 defeat in their Asia Cup opening match against Pakistan, left the ground without any training on Thursday ahead of another crunch game against India.
The hosts would face India in their second match today, but the charges of coach Mahbub Harun had to remain satisfied with simple stretching before their toughest test as the playing surface of Moulana Bhasani hockey stadium was not ready for training.
As the team reached the ground at 10:00am the players found the turf without any water, which left them frustrated as it was not possible to train on a dry surface. The team left the ground after light stretching - their only practice before the crucial game.
‘It may not be possible to improve in just one training session but we wanted to work with our mistakes that we did in the last match against Pakistan,’ said coach Harun. ‘But due to dry turf, we had to leave the field without groundwork.’
The absence of manager Rafiqul Islam Kamal also did not help team’s cause.
Asked about his absence, Kamal said he was busy with other works at the team hotel and therefore could not accompany players during the training.
‘Actually, it was not my job to pour water in synthetic turf,’ Kamal said.
‘I was a bit busy with some other work at the team hotel but I think the grounds committee was responsible for that,’ he said.
Moshiur Rahman, the administrator of the stadium, claimed said they could not arrange water for home team’s training due to load-shedding.
‘Dhaka Power Distribution Company [DPDC] had some problem on their main electric line,’ Moshiur said. ‘I took immediate step to resume power supply but DPDC took time to resolve the issue,’ he said.
The grounds committee chairman of Bangladesh Hockey Federation Hazi Monowar said DPDC kept the power supply off for four hours from 6:00am to 10:00am to ensure continuous power supply for the remaining hours.
Things, however, turned normal when India came for training at 11:00am and further embarrassment could be avoided.
Left without a chance to train, Bangladesh coach Harun said they put their attention in video analysis in order to correct their mistakes against India.
‘We had one video session yesterday [Wednesday] night. We will do it now again,’ he said.
India, who made a good start with a 5-1 win over Japan in their first match, hoped they would maintain the form against Bangladesh.
‘If we play fast hockey like what we did against Japan then we have big chance to win the match [against Bangladesh],’ said India’s Dutch coach Sjoerd Marijne.
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