There was serious business, an injury scare, fun and a lot of chatter on a lively first day of official training for Bangladesh in Mirpur yesterday, ahead of the second and final Test against the West Indies at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
The day however started off in alarming fashion as Bangladesh's wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, just a match removed from compiling the country's highest Test score of 219, sustained a blow to his right hand thumb while batting in the nets when a ball suddenly kicked off the surface after it was thrown by a ball boy with the sidearm.
The experience cricketer immediately went for an X-ray and to the relief of the whole team, although he was experiencing a lot of pain, the report revealed that there was no fracture.
Meanwhile, a camera crew was waiting for the training to end in order to do a video shoot for a social awareness TV commercial with Tigers' Test and T20I skipper Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah Riyad and Mehedi Hasan Miraz.
Mahmudullah, known as one of the biggest pranksters in the national team, cracked a joke in the middle of the shoot and that was the cue for everyone to break character and start laughing in the middle of the shoot.
Tamim -- recovering from a side strain and eyeing a return in the upcoming ODI series against the West Indies -- then engaged in conversation with reporters and expressed his disappointed at missing out on four Tests and nine ODIs since suffering a left knuckle fracture in the Asia Cup.
Tamim then changed the topic to a lighter one -- his Bangladesh teammates' love of food. He was full of praise for Mushfiqur's wife's delicious shahi tukra, and also revealed Shakib's fascination with paya and Mushfiqur's fondness for khichuri.
Tamim however was quick to point out the strict dietary restrictions that the cricketers had to follow, but he did reveal that pacer Rubel Hossain and young Mehedi were unparalleled in their ability to pig out.
The day seemed to have everything, almost -- after all, a day in Mirpur does not seem complete without running into the Tigers' ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, and that is exactly what happened when this reporter met the beloved cricketer at the stadium gates after the rest of the cricketers had left.
Mahsrafe's nomination form was submitted to the returning officer by the party officials at his hometown in Narail yesterday, but the cricketer appeared for training unnoticed for the first time since his decision to contest the upcoming general elections.
“How are you Mr. MP?”, a few of his fans thus greeted him in jest.
The inspirational skipper, with a smile on his face asked about the other reporters were before saying: “I have to go to the gym,” as he walked inside the gymnasium.