The preliminary squad of the Bangladesh national cricket team on Monday started their preparations for next month’s Asia Cup, scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates from September 15-28.
Apart from all-rounder Sakib al Hasan and Mahmudullah, all the 29 members of the squad joined the first day’s training camp held at the National Cricket Academy in Mirpur.
Sakib, who went to Saudi Arabia for performing Hajj, is expected to return home on Thursday while Mahmudullah is currently in West Indies where he is taking part in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League. Mahmudullah is expected to join the squad after September 4.
Strength and conditioning coach Mario Villavarayan conducted the opening day’s fitness training camp of the players while head coach Steve Rhodes and national team physio Thihan Chandramohan were also present at the training camp. All the players successfully performed the first day’s activities along with the multi-stage fitness test, also known as beep test.
Youngster Nazmul Hossain had given an exceptional performance in the beep test among the others as he hit highly appreciative score of 12.6 while pacer Rubel Hossain had the worst score of nearly 10, which was also appreciable. Pacer Abu Jayed was delighted with the result of the fitness test of the players and was optimistic of winning the Asia Cup.
‘We worked on our fitness in the morning and we had gym and fielding sessions in the afternoon. Our fitness level is very good. Everyone has done well in the beep test as well,’ Jayed told reporters in Mirpur.
‘Obviously we want to become champions in the tournament [Asia Cup]. We had a meeting in the dressing room where Mashrafee [bin Murtaza] bhai told us to keep believing on ourselves so that we can become champions. He told us that we are not going for only participating,’ he added. Jayed, the 25-year old pacer, who was yet to make his debut in the one-day internationals despite playing two Tests and three Twenty20 internationals, said his experience in the recent West Indies tour made him confident to perform well in limited-over cricket as well.
‘I’m trying for the ODIs as I closely watched the three ODIs [in West Indies tour]. I am hopeful that I can [do well]. I am happy as I can swing the ball in both the ways. I am optimistic to go a long way,’ he said.
The Tigers will continue their preparations until September 6 and expected to leave Dhaka for UAE on September 9 to take part in the 14th edition of the tournament.
Bangladesh, who are drawn in Group B of the six-nation tournament alongside Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, will start their campaign against Sri Lanka on September 15 in Dubai.
The Tigers will take on Afghanistan on September 20 in their second and final group match at Abu Dhabi. Top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super Four round of the tournament.
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