Tigers’ focus turns to World Cup
Bangladesh team management has already shifted their focus to the upcoming home series against New Zealand as the Tigers' hopes of making it to the Asia Cup final are all but over following defeat against Sri Lanka in their second Super Four match in Colombo on Saturday.
Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan already expressed his desire to rest some key players for the three-match ODI series against the Kiwis at home during the post-match press conference on Saturday in order to not risk losing players to injuries ahead of the World Cup, to be held in India from October 5.
Bangladesh team are enjoying a break after the Sri Lanka match as they will play their final Super Four match against India on September 15. Bangladesh's distant hopes of advancing in the Asia Cup are dependent on a lot of ifs and buts going in their favour.
Shakib, along with Mushfiqur Rahim, returned home and they will join the team in Colombo on September 13.
"We know the exact reason of Mushfiqur [he returned to the country to be with his wife for the birth of their second child]. Shakib also took the break for personal reasons but we are not sure about those," said Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury.
Selector Habibul Bashar said that their main challenge will be to keep the players fresh ahead of the World Cup.
"We are yet to discuss the New Zealand series. But we have to think about the workload of our pace bowlers. If we consider the hectic travel schedule of the World Cup, we must think about how we can keep some of our key players fresh ahead of the mega event," Bashar said.
A board official, on condition of anonymity, informed that they will allow the leading players to take breaks if they want in the home series. "We are not sure whether Shakib will also take a break. But ideally, we may follow a rotation policy which means one may skip one or two matches," he said.
The ODI matches against the Kiwis will take place in Mirpur on September 21, 23 and 26.