DHAKA — Bangladesh should not take West Indies lightly despite the fact that the Caribbean side will be without 12 first choice players, said Akram Khan, the cricket operations chairman of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
Amongst the 12, a total of 10 players including the Test captain Jason Holder and limited-overs captain Keiron Pollard declined the opportunity to tour due to Covid-19 related concerns or personal fears. The list also included Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran. Fabian Allen and Shane Dowrich are unavailable due to personal reasons.
Cricket West Indies Covid-19 policy allows any player to opt out of selection for an overseas tour, only when based on the player’s own safety fears or concerns.
As a result, the team consisting of those who are coming to Bangladesh turned out to be a second string West Indies side.
Akram said, in International cricket, no side should be termed as a weakened side and he urged Bangladesh players not to feel any complacency.
“If you think they are coming here with their B team, it will be a great mistake,” Akram said here today.
“Their standard is high and they have enough back up players who could deliver when it matters most.”
Akram believes for Bangladesh it would be good to play to their potential on their return to International cricket.
What made Akram more worried about Bangladesh was that the Tigers didn’t play any International cricket since March, before the outbreak of Covid-19 when Zimbabwe toured the country.
West Indies meanwhile played three series amid Covid-19 mayhem, all against top sides in the world.
“They are ahead of us at least in terms of playing International cricket. We have been away from cricket for a long time. The factor should be in our head,” he remarked.
“But it is good to think about our own strength rather than thinking about the West Indies. Hopefully the players will come back to form when the series starts.”
After a length Covid-19-induced break, Bangladesh returned to competitive cricket in last September when BCB organized BCB President’s Cup, a one-day format tournament which was held amongst three teams.
The BCB then organized the T20 format Bangabandhu T20 Cup. With those two tournaments, BCB tried to keep players in cricket as well as experimented with bio-bubble, the new normal of cricket.
Akram Khan, the guardian of the cricketers of Bangladesh, said they are confident of hosting the series successfully because of the experience of organizing two tournaments without any hiccup.
“We were a bit worried about the bio-bubble but by the grace of Allah, we could successfully organize two tournaments—BCB President’s Cup and Bangabandhu T20 Cup,” he said.
“Still we are not feeling any complacency with bio-bubble. We have given it the utmost priority and hopefully we’ll host the series successfully,” he concluded.BSS