ICC Cricket World Cup Blog Posts | The Daily Star
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Bangladesh's warm-up match against Pakistan in Cardiff's Swalec Stadium was an acute disappointment because a very light but persistent drizzle prevented play, and ended up causing an abandonment without a ball being bowled on Sunday.

 

Pakistani and Bangladeshi expatriates alike had come to the ground nestled in the middle of the wooded parkland known as Sophia Gardens, and it would be understandable if they were frustrated at the rare opportunity to see their cricketing heroes being thwarted by the weather.

Four or five Bangladeshis -- there were around a total of a hundred spectators on the gloomy day -- took it upon themselves to partake in some cricketing action.

A lively, if shortlived (a safety steward put an end to proceedings within about half an hour), game of cricket took place beneath one of the stands with temporary participants joining in. But three expats were having the game of their lives under the scant shelter even as the real cricketers were confined to indoor practice.

The ball was a red tennis ball and the bat appeared to be one of those sold as souvenirs at the ground, still in its plastic wrapping. Bangladesh's Liton Das seemed a popular name, as one of the participants repeatedly yelled out 'Shabash Litu' every time a ball was fielded successfully at what would have been a short cover.

At one stage, Pakistan batsman Imam-ul-Haq walked out of the nearby indoor nets and was making his way to the dressing room. As some Pakistani spectators -- some who had stationed themselves at midwicket for the impromptu cricket game -- rushed to take selfies with the bespectacled batsman, the Bangladeshis running the game were not interested in the least.

"He is not one of ours; doesn't concern us," said one of the main players to general laughter among his fellow expats.

Soon, however, Liton went through and that brought the game to a momentary halt as the participants scampered for selfies. Liton, however, was eager to get to net practice and the expats had to be content with a picture from afar.

Soon, Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur walked through and he noticed some of the big hits unleashed by the player batting at the time.

"Where are you going to be next Friday," Arthur asked with a chuckle, presumably talking about Pakistan's World Cup opener against West Indies.

"Too bad, mate, we are from Bangladesh," came the reply, and Arthur was on his way.

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The Bangladesh cricket team underwent their first full training session with all the players in the World Cup squad who are present in England at the moment.

 

Bangladesh team participated in their first full training session at Grace Road cricket ground in Leicester today. The team are preparing for the upcoming World Cup warm-up matches against Pakistan and India. The players looked in a vibrant mood as they took part in the session. Yesterday Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan got some batting practice done and today the team assembled for a training session where the players looked in a relaxed and cheerful mood.

The players warmed up with a game of keepie uppie with a football before moving on to fielding practice which involved long catches. A few of the batsmen also practiced at the nets with head coach Steve Rhodes and spin coach Sunil Joshi in action with the ball.

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The Leicestershire County Cricket Club was under heavy cloud cover yesterday, and the taxi driver weaving through residential streets towards the main entrance appeared a little puzzled about why someone would be going there on such a gloomy day.

“There is no cricket going on today, is there?”

No match as such, but for Bangladesh something important was afoot at Grace Road. The team were stationed around four kilometres away at the Hilton Leicester, and two members had gone to practise at the ground. One obviously was Mushfiqur Rahim, but crucially for Bangladesh the other was Shakib Al Hasan, who missed Bangladesh’s maiden triangular series victory in Dublin on Friday because of a back injury.

“There are more people looking after the players than there are players,” the grizzled security guard at the entrance said with a wry smile.

It was also a special day for five teenagers -- two left-arm seamers, two right-arm pacers and a right-arm leg-spinner -- of the Leicestershire Academy, who bowled at the two international stalwarts for about an hour at the centre wickets. They all agreed Shakib was batting okay, without much encumbrance -- a boon for Bangladesh ahead of the World Cup starting on May 30.

“I got him out,” one of the right-arm seamers said. “Shakib shuffled across and I hit his pads, I didn’t appeal but [batting consultant] Neil McKenzie said it was out.”

Mushfiqur, however, could not be bested, they said. The leg-spinner opined that Bangladesh’s wicketkeeper-batsman played spin very well. Unsurprisingly, the most diligent worker of the team faced throwdowns, pace and spin. Shakib, according to the youngsters, only faced pace and throwdowns.

Back at the Hilton, it was all very quiet, presumably because most of the players were resting and waiting for iftar. Head coach Steve Rhodes was parked in front of a screen in the lobby, watching the England-Pakistan game.

“Shakib seems okay, he had a bit of a bat today,” offered Rhodes.

A bit further away, Mohammad Mithun was engaged in deep conversation with McKenzie, who was prescribing some practice methods to the right-hander.

It was a sleepy Sunday in Leicester, but there were enough signs that the Tigers were eager to hold on to their Ireland momentum ahead of the real challenge.

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Shakib Al Hasan's played a few smashing shots in the nets session today after Bangladesh reached England for the cricket World Cup.

 

The Bangladesh cricket team reached their team hotel in Leicester, England yesterday to play in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, scheduled to begin from May 30. The team landed in London before boarding the bus to Leicester. Except ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who went back to Bangladesh and left-handed opener Tamim Iqbal, who left for Dubai, the rest of the team travelled to England from Ireland following their triumph in the final of the tri-nation tournament against the West Indies.

Shakib Al Hasan during a practice session today. Photo: BCB

The Bangladesh team practiced at Grace Road cricket ground in Leicester today, where they set up their base camp to prepare for the upcoming warm-up matches against Pakistan and India on May 26 and 28 respectively. Star batsman Mushfiqur Rahim was seen getting into his groove during a batting practice session at Grace Road. Perhaps the most encouraging fact for the Tigers' fans is the return of all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan to the nets practice session. Both Mushy and Shakib batted at the centre wicket during the session which started at 1:30 PM (England time).

The left-hander sat out the final of the tri-nation series on May 17 due to a muscle spasm but looked in rhythm while batting at the nets today.