SPORTS

Windies Go Bangladesh With A Weakened Team

Bangladesh is set to play their first international match since March last year while Windies will become the side with most tours since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The series get underway with a fully strengthened Bangladesh squad against a timid and weakened Windies side that is first preference-10-men short and will feature three ODIs and two Tests.

Bangladesh remained the only Test-playing nation to have not started their International cricket activities since International cricket resumed.

But better-late-than-never, Bangla Tigers are now ready to roar under the banner of their new captain, Tamim Iqbal, and with the return of their spearhead, Shakib al Hasan.

Tamim was appointed as the captain back in March last year, but he had to wait for over nine months to be able to lead his side in an International match.

He will have the assistance of two of the most experienced men, Shakib al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, to assist him on the field. Shakib, who was suspended by ICC in October 2019 after he failed to report a corrupt approach to the authorities, has returned to competitive cricket last month after featuring in the Bangabandhu T20 Cup.

Though the all-rounder, who was brilliant in the ICC World Cup 2019, didn’t miss much cricket in his suspension as there was very little cricket during the uncertain times.

Windies, on the other side, would have hoped to come to the subcontinent with a full-strengthened squad, but that didn’t materialize. Ten of their players, including their Test and limited-overs captains, made themselves unavailable for the tour citing the pandemic as the reason for their withdrawal.

Players to pull out of the Bangladesh tour include:

 Jason Holder

Kieron Pollard

Roston Chase

Darren Bravo

Shamarh Brooks

Sheldon Cottrell

Evin Lewis

Shai Hope

Shimron Hetmyer

Nicholas Pooran

That move had resulted in the Windies Board sending a B-string team to face a full-strength Bangladesh squad, a team who easily defeated them in their last meeting at the ICC Cricket World Cup when they comfortably chased down 322 on the back of a three-figure score by Shakib al Hasan, who will feature his first comeback ODI against the same opposition against which he won his man of the match award.

Windies, now the team with most visits in playing cricket in the pandemic, under the circumstances, had to recall Jason Mohammed to the squad and that too as the captain of the ODI team. For the record, the captain played his last International match more than two years ago. Rovman Powell, with just 34 ODIs under his belt, is the most experienced player in the squad. Jason Mohammed will have to pick a team from a pool of inexperienced players with plenty of players expecting to receive their ODI caps.

In the absence of Jason Holder, Kraigg Brathwaite will have to do the leadership services for the Test series that is also a part of the ICC World Test Championship. Windies have so far played three series and lost all of them.

They have a total of just forty points with one win in seven matches and are currently placed just above Bangladesh in the nine-team Championship.

ODI Series

1st ODI: January 20, 2021, Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka

2nd ODI: January 22, 2021, Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka

3rd ODI: January 25, 2021, Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong

Test Series

1st Test: February 3-7, 2021, Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong

2nd Test: February 11-15, 2021, Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka

Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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