It was a relieving day for Bangladesh cricketers in New Zealand today. The Tigers practiced at the Lincoln Green in small groups of seven for the first time since landing in Christchurch on February 24.
The Tigers were reduced to only do cycling on excercise bikes and freehand exercises as they had to stay inside hotel rooms for the first seven days. Players, who underwent three coronavirus tests in the first seven days since landing and subsequently returned negative results in each of them, were, however, allowed to roam inside the hotel premises for 30-40 minutes everyday following spending the first three days in self-isolation.
"In practice today, first we worked on our fielding -- short catch and high catch. Because there's a matter of weather and wind here and hence we practiced catching trying to adapt to the condition here. Then we did batting and bowling in short sessions. And we did a little fitness training at the end, since we haven't been able to do too much fitness in seven days. We did running according to the trainer's instructions. I will be trying to adjust to the condition with practice sessions like this for the rest of the days we have left," said allrounder Mohammad Saifuddin in a recorded video message to the BCB after a successful training session today.
The players, split into small groups, also started gym sessions from yesterday after testing negative in their third round of coronavirus tests. The visiting side will be able to practice and do gym sessions in small groups from now on for the rest of their mandatory 14-day quarantine period, after which the players will be allowed to roam freely in the country and mix with the locals.
Bangladesh are yet to get a win in 26 international games in New Zealand. However, Saifuddin remained optimistic about changing the records this time around.
"There obviously are expectations [to win matches] because we are a very good team in ODIs. So if we can all play our best, if the day is ours, then, of course, the result will be in our favour. Besides, there are also T20s. And as we are yet to fill in the achievement column [in New Zealand], we will try to return to our country with some good results in this series," hoped Saifuddin.
Bangladesh are scheduled to play three ODIs, starting from March 20 in Dunedin. The next two games are scheduled for March 23 and 26 in Christchurch and Wellington respectively.
The visitors will then take part in the first T20I on March 28 in Hamilton before the second and third T20Is are played in Napier and Auckland on March 30 and April 1.