Vol. 5 Num 351 Wed. May 25, 2005  

Lord's waking up

It was business as usual at Lord's two days before the first Test between Bangladesh and England.

The groundstaff were giving the finishing touches to the picturesque ground known as the 'home of cricket'. While they are trying to put some pace into it by not cutting every sprouting blade of grass, a billboard just outside the ground reveals the worst kept secret.

"You just have to try and make the batsman play, put the ball in the right area and ask the question" read giant billboard quoting England fast bowler Matthew Hoggard with a picture of an unidentified batsman taking evasive action against a rising short-pitched delivery.

Hoggard and Steve Harmision will certainly keep on coming when the first Test starts on Thursday and the non-performing Bangladesh top-order better get ready for that because the weatherman forecasts a bright and sunny first two days of the Test.

Chief selector Faruque Ahmed is already worried about his top five not because they are not scoring but for throwing their wicket after getting set in the middle.

"I have seen them batting against Northamptonshire and the way most of them got out was terrible," said Faruque without identifying any particular player.

So far in the three practice matches only opener Javed Omar showed some consistency with the bat apart from the sensational Mushfiqur Rahim lower down the order.

Meanwhile, the Lord's Test has generated little enthusiasm. An advertisement has just been pinned into a notice board with a picture of England captain Michael Vaughan batting and Bangladesh paceman Mashrafee-bin-Mortuza just completing a delivery and that compliments of the UK branch of Sonali Bank, who are selling tickets for the two-Test.