Vol. 4 Num 134 Wed. October 08, 2003  

Exception for exceptional talent

Chief selector Faruque Ahmed said there is no room for a new face in the first Test starting on October 21. But at the same time the former national captain did not rule out to think beyond the list of 20 probables for the reminder of the series especially for the three one-dayers.

Michael Vaughan's men arrive this morning on a maiden 37-day tour, which includes two Tests and three one-day internationals in Dhaka and Chittagong.

"We are not rigid about picking players from only the preliminary list. We also do not rule out considering three new faces for the one-day series. But there will be no experiment in the Tests," Faruque said after a rain-affected practice session of the national team at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

The softer tone of Faruque came only days after coach Dav Whatmore stated that he would prefer a wider net before making the final selection.

Faruque had initially said that there was little or no chance for anyone outside the preliminary squad to find a place in the home series against England.

The chief selector however underlined the importance of not hurrying into making judgements based on one-off performances during the tour matches.

"Before giving a chance to any player we should count his previous record, ability to withstand the pressure at the highest level as well as his natural talent. I have no intention to give chance to anyone for one or two good matches," Faruque said.

Faruque said that he would only bend the rules if he found someone as 'very extraordinary' talent.

"But right at the moment I don't see anyone who has everything we are looking for."

Regarding the selection process Faruque said that they would definitely take the home advantage and announce match-by-match squads. But unlike previous occasions, where the Board used to announce 15 players, this time it would a 13-member team for each game.

Faruque will sit with his two colleagues and the coach today to finalise the BCB President's Eleven for the tour opener against England on October 12.

The selectors will name the squad fore the first Test on October 17. But he dismissed having Mahmud in the meeting of selectors since the Board, which reserves the right to name a captain, is yet to make it official.

Faruque also got involved in the pitch argument, which has been a talking point for the last few days.

"If you ask me we need as flat a wicket as possible."

On the other hand the Bangla-desh skipper is very excited to learn that two leading English bowlers James Anderson and Andrew Flintoff will be absent from the Test-leg of the tour.

"They are firebrand bowlers and we always considered them the main threat. So, it's a relief to some extent," said Mahmud.