Mirpur turns mock war zone
The Bangladesh national team were supposed to begin their training at 10:00am yesterday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Their sessions were expected to be the highlight of the day, considering that the ODI series against England begin today.
However, the morning rain delayed their on-field training sessions and the main ground was completely covered. The attention as a result shifted to the men in uniform, who were present in large numbers yesterday.
At around 10:30am the security agencies were getting set to perform a security drill.
The 1 Para Commando Battalion, the Army Aviation Wing, the Bangladesh Air Force and a number of other security agencies took part in the demonstration.
As part of the demonstration, four Para Commandos climbed down from a helicopter that was hovering over the BCB's national cricket academy and took their respective positions on the ground at 11:00am.
Minutes later, another helicopter, from the Bangladesh Air force arrived carrying four more Para Commandos and together, the eight Para Commandos headed towards the England dressing room at the main ground of the stadium.
The mission of the drill was to save the so-called hostages, played by other Para Commandos, from the England dressing room at the main ground. The Para Commandos charged into the main ground, performed a mock shooting drill and then took the hostages back to the helicopter at the national cricket academy.
Lt Colonel MM Imrul Hasan, the commanding officer of the 1 Para Commando Battalion spoke to the media following the demonstration.
"You all know that a series is going on between Bangladesh and England cricket team and so for the security purpose this is an arrangement we made. It's just a demonstration including all the stakeholders.
"I want to mention that the Bangladesh Army, and to be particular the 1 Para Commando battalion, is always ready to take on any situation to safeguard the players," he said.
The England and Wales Cricket Board's chief security officer, Reg Dickason was present during the entire demonstration.
"What we have witnessed today has been a graphic demonstration of the response capability of the Bangladesh army and the response units. It gives us a lot of confidence for touring your wonderful country.
"The security that we have experienced to date in Bangladesh has been outstanding," said Dickason.