CHENNAI: Bangladesh cricket has endured quite a tough period in the past two months. They lost a Test to new entrant Afghanistan at their own backyard in September, witnessed a strike from players and saw its premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan being banned by the ICC for two years for not reporting corrupt approaches. Despite all the adversities, they are in India taking on the formidable teams in three T20Is and two-match Test series including the maiden pink ball contest.
Senior selector Habibul Bashar has accompanied the team for the bilateral series. Speaking on the past two months, the former captain said the Test the team lost to Afghanistan was the most difficult thing for the players and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). “Losing the match to Afghanistan at home was the most difficult thing to face. Other off the field issues like players’ strike were resolved quickly but the Test we lost against Afghanistan was the hardest thing to have hit the board. It’s true, the last two months were tough but we have to move on and look at the future instead of looking back,” said Bashar, who led the team to many memorable wins including a victory over Australia in an ODI in 2005 and upset wins over India and South Africa in 2007 World Cup.
The 47-year-old though held the conditions in Delhi not ideal for playing but said it’s the same for both the teams. “If I am not mistaken, the venue has faced the same problem in the past. I’m pretty sure the organisers will keep this thing in mind in the future.”
Bashar admitted the absence of senior players like Shakib might hurt them but expressed faith on the youngsters to take the team forward. “India are the strongest side at the moment. Missing two seniors will make our job harder but we can count on youngsters.” Speaking on the new Test captain Mominul Haque, he said, “At some point, you have to make a fresh start. We’ve been grooming him (Haque) as a captain for the past two years. Sometimes when you start against tough opponents, it actually can help you. If we stick together we can make it possible.”