The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hasan is confident of a strong showing from Bangladesh in the upcoming Twenty20 International (T20I) series against Pakistan, starting from January 24 in Lahore.
While talking to reporters on Sunday, Nazmul admitted that senior batsman Mushfiqur Rahims’s absence is a blow for Bangladesh, who are already without suspended all-rounder Shakibal Hasan.
“Mushfiq is the most dependable batsman of our team and he was always. In this BPL he proved that he is the best. If we think that way, he will be badly missed. Another thing is Shakib is not there. So it is unfortunate that we missed both of them,” Nazmul was quoted as saying by Cricfrenzy. “Still we think that there will be good contest in the series. They [Pakistan] also expect us to fight against them. Bangladesh should win.”
“Tamim is back after a long time and didn’t play badly. Liton Das has been in form and Afif also played well. There are the likes of Shanto, Naim Sheikh who showed their capability. The courage and the spirit that is required to win the T20 game, I saw it in them. So I think if they can continue the BPL performance, it would be enough for us,” he added.
Bangladesh are scheduled to play three T20Is, two Tests and one one-day international (ODI) in Pakistan between January and April in three separate phases.
The visiting team will also be without five of their regular coaching staff members, who have withdrawn from the tour. Spin bowling coach Daniel Vettori, trainer Mario Villavarayan, fielding coach Ryan Cook, white-ball batting consultant Neil McKenzie and computer analyst Shrinivaas Chandrasekaran have informed the BCB about their decision to opt out of the series.
The BCB president also revealed that there was pressure from the International Cricket Council (ICC) to tour Pakistan for Test matches, since the cricket governing body considers the country safe for international teams. “If it is just bilateral series, then the situation would have been different but the two-match Test series is the part of World Test Championship, which is being organized by ICC. It is kind of World Cup. The championship game is being play by home and away basis, so there is no option [to avoid it],” he said. “I think we should take part here as a full member of ICC. And ICC also wants that. This was the main pressure actually.”
“ICC have already observed the security condition in Pakistan. International teams have also started visiting there.
Even Sri Lanka played Test series. ICC is sending their team, and so considering all those factors, it was tough to say ‘no’ to the tour,” he added.—Agencies