Bangladesh national team cricketers on Sunday were advised by the top Bangladesh Cricket Board official and their head coach to only concentrate on playing cricket in Pakistan, keeping all security concerns aside.
The Tigers will travel to Pakistan on January 22 to take part in a three-match Twenty20 international series, starting on January 24 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Bangladesh started their three-day training camp on Sunday at Sher-e Bangla National Stadium ahead of their series in Pakistan where BCB president Nazmul Hasan met the players and reassured them about the security in Pakistan.
‘Till now we are feeling that Pakistan is a safe place to travel and we can go there to play. I think we should concentrate on playing the game and brush off the security concerns. Today [Sunday] I came here to tell them [the players] the same,’ Nazmul told reporters in Mirpur.
‘I told the players not to think anything about security. If they worry about that, they won’t be able to play their natural cricket. It’s difficult to play cricket without mental piece.
‘Twenty20 is a high-tension game. It changes every second. I told them to keep their head cool. Inshallah nothing will go wrong,’ he added.
According to several Pakistani media, the Pakistan Cricket Board were also leaving no stone unturned to provide Bangladesh team the best security facilities in the three-phase series and the Tigers would receive presidential level security throughout the entire series.
Nazmul also said that the board was sending a security team to Pakistan ahead of the team’s departure for the country and also revealed that security personals will accompany the team during the tour.
‘There is a team going to Pakistan in advance. There will be people from National Security Intelligence with the team... I heard that DGFI [Directorate General of Forces Intelligence] will send its people also. Apart from that we will take full preparation from our side,’ said Nazmul.
Head coach Russell Domingo also felt that his charges would easily be able to cope with the situation in Pakistan and urged his players to only focus on their game in the tour.
‘I do not think it will be tough for the boys. When you are facing a bowler there is nothing else to think about except the ball or when you are bowling there is nothing else to think except landing the ball in the right area,’ said Domingo.
‘Sometime when you are together in a closed environment it is good for the team and it can galvanise the team as well. It can get the team working together and connecting well also. We are looking forward to it,’ he added.
Domingo was also confident that his charges would be able to showcase better performances against the current number one Twenty20 side after displaying a much improved performance in the shortest format against India.
‘Pakistan is the number one team in the world in Twenty20s. I think they brought back Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez and they left out[Mohammad] Amir. Pakistan is a fantastic T20 side but we are going there with some confidence,’ he said.
‘We know our T20 cricket is improving. We want to see how we compete against the number team in the world. We nearly beat India in India and really want to see get better and beat Pakistan,’ he added.
Skipper Mahmudullah and all-rounder Mahedi Hasan were the only absentees in the first day’s training camp as Mahmudullah was suffering from a viral fever while Mahedi took one-day off to stay with his ailing mother.
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