With the 'cricketainment' of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) concluded, national cricketers will now focus on more serious business as they are all set to play a tri-nation ODI series involving Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe next month, followed by a two-match Test series and a two-match T20I series against Sri Lanka.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) released the itinerary for this, the national team's first international commitment of 2018, yesterday. The BCB also revealed that since the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium proved to be an ideal ground during the BPL, the final T20I against Sri Lanka will be played there.
Even though the local player's performances in the month-long franchise-based T20 tournament pales in comparison to that of the foreign recruits, this edition of the BPL helped heal the wounds the Tigers sustained on their dismal tour of South Africa in September-October. However, the resignation of head coach Chandika Hathurusingha and the recent decision to remove Mushfiqur Rahim as Test captain and appoint Shakib Al Hasan in his place has served to remind the players of that chastening series defeat.
The Tigers will begin their preparations on December 27 with the hope of bouncing back from that pathetic performance against the Proteas. Before that though, some national players will feature in the sixth and final round of the National Cricket League (NCL).
“Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal will return from the UAE on December 18 after playing the T10 tournament and we are hopeful about their participation in the last round of the NCL but already a few players requested a break and we will only allow them if they have valid reasons like Imrul Kayes, who will go to Makkah to perform umrah,” informed BCB cricket operations committee chairman Akram Khan yesterday.
The Minhajul Abedin-led selection panel has already prepared a long list of players for the training camp which will be supervised by the national team's support staff as the board is yet to appoint a new head coach.