Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com
The ODI series ended 2-1 in favour of Afghanistan after Bangladesh’s seven-wicket win in the dead rubber third and final match yesterday and the conclusion of an important series ahead of the Asia Cup and World Cup will now see the Tigers turn their attention to preparations for those events.
Key to those preparations will be how and in what form ODI captain Tamim Iqbal will return to the side following his break.
Tamim had shockingly retired a day after leading the team out for the first ODI, before being convinced to withdraw his retirement by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina just before the second ODI, although with the caveat that the left-handed opener would be going on a one-and-a-half-month break.
There are question marks about how things will shape up, at least planning-wise, given that Tamim will be outside the team atmosphere when preparations begin.
Preparation for the Asia Cup will begin after July 30, BCB cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus informed yesterday.
“Everyone will get a rest till July 30. Some will go to play outside. Then we will begin our preparations with a conditioning camp,” Jalal said.
While Tamim is still considered the captain of the team, whether he would return as captain was not cleared during Jalal’s chat with the media. “Let him [Tamim] return first. We are discussing it with him. There is an issue regarding his fitness. So he told us to let him return first and then discuss these things,” Jalal informed.
Tamim will be leaving for Dubai, before seeing specialists in the UK regarding fitness issues during his break.
“Tamim is going to Dubai and from there he will be going to the UK on July 25 or 26. He has appointments at two medical centres and will see doctors there. He will give me updates from there on what’s happening,” Jalal said.
The Tigers will form a preliminary squad for the Asia Cup and, depending on Tamim’s fitness updates, it will be decided when he can join the side.
“We will provide a 25-26-member preliminary squad. We will be monitoring his fitness to decide on that and we will know when he can join,” Jalal suggested.
The issue of former ODI captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza going to the World Cup as a mentor also came up. “The decision is up to the board. He is supposed to come to discuss with us. Let us know formally and then we will take a decision,” he concluded.