Vol. 5 Num 689 Mon. May 08, 2006  

Unwanted break

With the burnout issue becoming louder in world cricket during this time, Bangladesh are facing a different problem with the fact that they have to take a one-year break to resume their Test campaign.

After completion of the two-match Test series against mighty Australia at home last month, Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar had expressed his utter frustration over the long break and he still believes that it could be a big problem for his side.

As per ICC's (International Cricket Council) six-year future tour programme (FTP) the Tigers will restart their Test campaign against India at home in May next year and by this time they will play only one-day internationals including the ICC Champions Trophy and the World Cup.

"A lot of star players are complaining against too much cricket right at the moment but we are not in a position to join the party. Rather the long break in Test cricket is a real concern for us. I think it is always good for an improving side like Bangladesh to play as much Test cricket as possible," said Bashar on Sunday.

"It is really a frustrating situation for us because we have just gone around to showing our gradual improvement in this level. We were just grasping over the finer points of Test cricket which will definitely be hampered when we resume the campaign after a year," he added.

The question could be raised whether Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is concerned about the seriousness of the matter.

Reliable sources however said that BCB has sent a proposal to West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) to visit Bangladesh before their away series against Pakistan this year but the WICB was yet to respond to Bangladesh's desire.

When contacted BCB's chief executive officer Mahmudur Rahman admitted that they sent a proposal to WICB but it was only for a five-match one-day series.

"It is true that we expressed our desire to play some one-day matches against West Indies and we are hopeful about a positive response from them. Actually we are focusing on one-day cricket right at the moment because of the upcoming Champions Trophy and next years World Cup," informed Rahman.

But he said that the board is looking for a slot to minimise the gap in Test cricket.

"The BCB high-ups have already talked about the matter and we are really concerned about the long-break in Test cricket. But finding a slot is a real problem. We are working to find a slot for Bangladesh to play at least one Test series within the break," he added.

While the authorities have emphasised the focus on the one-day game right at the moment, the 33-year old Bangladesh skipper Bashar said that their main challenge lies in the longer-version game.

"Yes, there is lot of one-day cricket in the pipeline for us but you all know Test cricket is a totally different ball game. Even I believe that we can't make up the loss by playing four-day and National Cricket League matches during that time. No doubt, all kind of matches are important for us but everybody should understand that our main challenge lies in Test cricket," he added.