Challenges on the field and on the road
12:00 AM, March 06, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:10 AM, March 06, 2019

Challenges on the field and on the road

The challenge of adapting to hostile New Zealand conditions was an unavoidable one for the Tigers because it entailed getting used to a climate and surface conditions markedly different from Bangladesh, but there has been another hurdle facing the tourists that the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) could well have avoided.

Bangladesh ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and opener Tamim Iqbal's fear of flying in small aircrafts has already been well documented, but it seems that the hassle of travelling from city to city -- as they did yesterday from Hamilton to Wellington for the second Test -- has become a much more widespread headache for the entire Bangladesh team.

The hassle of extra and seemingly unnecessary travel started right from the practice one-dayer on February 10 after they arrived in New Zealand. Despite there being the option of direct flights, the visitors had to change flights and even take the bus for inter-city travel before almost every game.

The first batch of the Bangladesh squad arrived in Christchurch on February and they took part in a practice game the next day, ahead of the first of the three-match ODI series that started in Napier.

The Bangladesh cricketers had to wait for over three hours at the Wellington airport to board another flight to reach Napier. Things remained the same while returning from Napier as the Tigers went to Christchurch for the second ODI via Wellington.

On the other hand, the New Zealand team took a direct flight from Napier to Christchurch, which took just an hour and a half. Meanwhile, it took more than five hours for Bangladesh to reach the same destination.

The scenario was pretty similar in the Test series as Bangladesh had to take a flight from Christchurch to Auckland, from where they undertook a two-hour bus journey to reach Hamilton. By contrast, New Zealand again flew directly from Christchurch to Hamilton.

During the trip back from Hamilton to Wellington yesterday -- which takes hardly an hour to reach by plane, which the hosts did -- Bangladesh travelled to Auckland from Hamilton by bus and then took the flight for Wellington to take part in the second Test starting from March 8.

It's standard practice before every tour that the host board sends the entire plan for the visiting team, including travel and accommodations, and it is only after the visiting team's cricket operations department's approval that the itinerary is finalised.

It was not the first time that the Tigers had to face such hassles when touring abroad, while most teams visiting Bangladesh receive all the comfort and convenience that they bargained for keeping the best interests of the cricketers in mind.

It therefore has to be asked whether the BCB cricket operations committee, led by former Bangladesh captain Akram Khan, had indeed studied the tour plan before giving the final approval, knowing well that the details could have been altered upon request.

Although it is not the main reason for the Tigers' failures in New Zealand so far, but such things certainly add to the negative psychological impact that has been created by a hitherto unsuccessful tour.

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