Tigers unimpressed by Dublin facilities
That the rain is enough of a problem in Ireland was evidenced by the fact that both matches in the tri-series involving the hosts, Bangladesh and New Zealand have had rain interruptions.
The rain does not look like staying away for the entirety of a 50-over match, which makes the days between matches all the more crucial as they may be the only opportunities to maintain the players' conditioning and skill levels. However, according to a source close to the team, the facilities on offer on such days have left the players dissatisfied.
While the facilities, according to the source, were satisfactory in Belfast, Dublin's cricketing offerings so far have left much to be desired. The Bangladesh team yesterday went to Balbriggan Cricket Club for their first practice session since the washed-out tri-series opener against Ireland on Friday, but upon reaching the ground found that only the centre wicket was available for practice and there were no net facilities. Moreover, the wicket was not suitable for batting as the ball was keeping low. This forced the team to be split up and the batsman taken to another facility that had indoor nets.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) officials in Ireland have communicated the problem to the Ireland Cricket Board, and it was learnt that the Bangladesh team will practise tomorrow at the Malahide Cricket Club ground -- the tri-series venue.
However, the situation is not ideal. The Ireland tri-series is a build-up to the Champions Trophy later in the month and it presents a platform to get used to conditions and cricket in a climate far removed from what Bangladesh players are used to. In that light, batsmen practising indoors and bowlers bowling on a low-bouncing wicket counts as a day of practice all but wasted. The Champions Trophy apart, the tri-series in Ireland also represents a golden chance for Bangladesh to move up the ODI rankings to sixth and thereby sit more comfortably in the race to the 2019 World Cup.
It has also been learnt that New Zealand, for whom the conditions in England and Ireland are much closer to home, have also expressed their reservations about the facilities on offer.
The next match in the tri-series, which is a league-based competition with the team with the most points after two rounds will be named winners, is the Bangladesh-New Zealand match on May 17. Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza is expected to be back for the match, after having missed Friday's opener because of a one-match suspension picked up in Sri Lanka.