‘Bangladesh can do well in Pakistan despite security concerns’

Published January 21, 2020
Head coach Russell Domingo says situation would strengthen the bond between players rather than hamper preparations. — AFP/File
Head coach Russell Domingo says situation would strengthen the bond between players rather than hamper preparations. — AFP/File

DHAKA: Head coach Russell Domingo said Bangladesh would perform well in Pakistan despite security concerns overshadowing the tour starting later this month, with several players and coaching staff refusing to make the trip.

Bangladesh will tour Pakistan for three Twenty20 Internationals, a One-day International and two Tests spread across three visits.

International cricket has gradually returned to Pakistan in the last four years after it was suspended following a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.

The players are expected to train amid heavy security, but Domingo said the situation would strengthen the bond between them rather than hamper preparations.

“I do not think it will be tough for the boys [to focus],” Domingo told reporters late on Sunday as the team started preparations for the tour.

“When you are facing a bowler there is nothing else to think about except a ball or when you are bowling there is nothing else to think except landing the ball in the right area. It [the heavy security] can galvanise the team as well. It can get the team working together and connecting well.”

Bangladesh agreed to the Pakistan tour after a long debate over security concerns that nearly led to the cancellation of the series.

The Tigers will play three T20Is in Lahore from Jan 24 to 27 before returning to Pakistan for the first Test from Feb 7 to 11 in Rawalpindi. They will visit again to play a One-day International in Karachi on April 3 and the second Test from April 5 to 9.

“Where we go and when we go is not our decision. Obviously it would be nice to go once and finish in three weeks but they think it’s best to do it in one-week blocks. I am fine with it,” Domingo added.

Senior batsman Mushfiqur Rahim and several members of the backroom staff, including batting coach Neil McKenzie, spin bowling coach Daniel Vettori and fielding coach Ryan Cook refused to join the tour.

Domingo said he did not share their concerns. “It was easy [to take decision of going to Pakistan]. I sign up to coach Bangladesh and that’s what I want to do,” Domingo said. “I am looking forward going to Pakistan. I have never been there, so I am seeing a good challenge, good learning and a good adventure on how cricket works in that country.”

But Domingo said he also respected the decision of players like Mushfiqur, whom he had spoken to. “He is a family man like me. If he feels that’s the best for his family we have to respect his decision,” he said.

Published in Dawn, January 21st, 2020



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