ICC Cricket World Cup Moments | The Daily Star
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Sabbir's century

There was a lot of hue and cry about getting Sabbir Rahman back into the Bangladesh team -- his six-month disciplinary ban for threatening a fan on social media was cut short by a month to enable him to go on the tour of New Zealand in February, presumably to get him primed for the World Cup. He justified the investment of faith with a ton in the third ODI, but yesterday Sabbir was involved in a ton altogether more unsavoury.

Sabbir is one of the best fielders in the Bangladesh side and, in his first match of the World Cup, his first act changed the complexion of the match against Australia. Off the last ball of the fifth over delivered by skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza -- the man who made a case for reducing the ban -- Sabbir robbed David Warner low to his right at point. Warner was then on 10 and went on to score 162, with Sabbir's miss costing Bangladesh 152 runs as Australia piled on 381 for five. In the 26th over with Warner on 72, Sabbir had a chance to run the opener out from mid on, but failed to gather the ball cleanly and then followed up with a wayward throw -- all in all, not a return to remember.

Rubel's moment

The other return to the Bangladesh team was Rubel Hossain's in place of the injured Mohammad Saifuddin, after much hand-wringing on social media about his non-inclusion -- the general gist being that Bangladesh could use an out-and-out quickie. Although Rubel conceded 83 runs in nine overs, he did have one moment to justify his fans' claims.

In the 19th over, Warner went to pull Rubel to fine leg, but the skiddy bowler beat the bat and hit Warner on the thigh pad, knocking him off balance and flooring the eventual centurion -- at least Rubel produced a picture to remember.

Soumya's golden arm

With Mosaddek Hossain injured, Soumya Sarkar's medium pace was Mashrafe's option to perform the sixth bowler's job. He got rid of Aaron Finch with a ball that reared from a length in the 21st over, ending a 121-run opening stand. It was again Soumya who broke another huge partnership, the 192-run second-wicket stand between Warner and Usman Khawaja, but Warner had much to do with it. Soumya bowled the gentlest of bouncers, and it was perhaps the time to think about it that enabled Warner to try and reach a ball well above his head to play a ramp shot. The ball carried only to short third man, and Warner departed shaking his head.

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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.

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Andre Russell has represented West Indies in only a single one-day international since 2015 but his World Cup call-up was not surprising and the hard-hitting all-rounder is hungry to represent the Caribbean side again.

Contractual disputes between the players and Cricket West Indies have weakened the team for several years now with the frosty relations famously culminating in the 2014 tour of India being called off midway through the series.

There have been signs of a thaw recently, however, with a new leadership team in place at the board and the twice 50-over World Cup champions have included former captain Chris Gayle and Russell in their 15-man squad.

“I wasn’t surprised that I was a part of the World Cup squad,” Russell told reporters ahead of KKR’s home match against the Mumbai Indians at the Eden Gardens.

“I’ve been doing well, I’ve been back and forth with the selectors and the coaches back home. I know once I’m doing my work here and performing, that will lead to national duties.

“I wasn’t really focused on the World Cup. I was just trying to make sure that whatever happened here, I did my best and put my best foot forward.”

Russell, who also bowls medium pace, is averaging 58 with the bat and has smashed 42 sixes during the 2019 edition of the IPL - 10 more than closest rival Gayle, who plays for the King’s XI Punjab.

Russell hopes he can continue his form into the May 30-July 14 World Cup, where the 1975 and 1979 champions open their campaign against Pakistan in Nottingham.

“I’m so hungry now to represent the West Indies,” said Russell, who played for West Indies against Bangladesh last July in an ODI for the first time since November, 2015.