Tigers set for new challenge
Overcast conditions welcomed the Bangladesh ODI side at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium yesterday as they put in the final touches in practice ahead of the first ODI against Ireland, which will begin at 2:00PM today.
Bangladesh's unbeaten home record in ODIs ended with a 2-1 series defeat to England, but under coach Chandika Hathurusingha in his second reign, Bangladesh will be expected to return to winning ways. There were chances of light showers in the morning but sunny conditions may give way, according to weather forecast.
There were some clouds hovering over Bangladesh team management as well, with Mehedi Hasan Miraz having suffered an injury yesterday while the team played football during the warm-up as a ball hit him above the eye.
Captain Tamim Iqbal was also suffering from fever on Thursday, but batted and fielded during the session. "There's a little bit concern with his [Tamim's] health. Not fitness. I think he has some kind of viral infection. He will bat and field today. We will make the call afterwards," Hathurusingha said.
Miraz had a blood clot in his eye and will remain under observation till the morning after being prescribed rest by an ophthalmologist. The CT scan report was good, according to BCB chief physican Debashish Chowdhury, which should be a relief to the Tigers.
Shakib Al Hasan also joined the side in Sylhet yesterday after a controversial visit to Dubai.
Bangladesh have won seven ODIs against Ireland and lost twice. They played one bilateral series at home, attaining a clean sweep in 2008, while an away series in 2010 was drawn one-all.
Ireland were the only side to beat eventual world champions England in the T20 World Cup last year and Hathurusingha stressed that Bangladesh would not be taking the visitors lightly.
"We respect Ireland just like England, but we don't fear any team. We are not going to treat Ireland any different than England," Hathursingha said as the Tigers, buoyed by their 3-0 clean sweep of England in T20Is, look to translate that form into ODIs.