Bangladesh team took part in an intense practice session at Mangaung Oval Wednesday, ahead of their practice match against Cricket South Africa Invitation XI Thursday in Bloemfontein.
The Tigers looked pretty serious during practice as all the bowlers bowled at least 10 overs in the nets. The Bangladesh batsmen also batted in the nets for a few rounds before the warm-up game, according to a source.
But perhaps the practice session at Mangaung Oval appeared too serious as media personnel, who came from Bangladesh to cover the series, were not allowed to see the net sessions. Later it was revealed that according to the instruction of the “team management”, no players or members of the coaching staff will talk with the media. It was learned that a player or a coaching staff will only talk or take part in the media session in the scheduled official press conference.
While the practice match will be played today, a media session with the players or team officials was supposed to be a part of the scheduled media session Wednesday. But strangely, the Tigers manager Minhajul Abedin repeatedly told the journalists that the “team management” has decided not to take part in any media session.
Bangladesh team management also did not allow the journalists to see the net sessions two days before the start of the second and final Test match. It seems Bangladesh team did not want to get “interrupted” during intense practice before the second Test. But that strategy did not work out as the Bloemfontein Test ended within two and a half days as Bangladesh suffered an innings and 254-run loss against the dominant Proteas.
On the other hand, local South African journalists were allowed to do their duties while the Proteas were practising. A few journalists even went to the field and had a look at the pitch on the eve of the second Test while the Proteas were training at one corner of the field.
Meanwhile, all eyes were on opener Tamim Iqbal as he was supposed to bat in the nets Wednesday ahead of the ODI series. As it turned out, Tamim only knocked in the nets.
It was learnt from the team source that the left-handed opener is on his way to becoming fit and has a good chance of playing the first ODI at De Beers Diamond Oval in Kimberley Sunday. But the team management is not willing to take any chance in the warm-up game as he hasn’t fully recovered from his thigh injury that cost him his place in the second Test playing XI.
However, Tamim took part in a slight running session with fitness trainer Mario Villavarayan and physio Thihan Chandramohan. But Tamim did not look match-fit and it seemed like he still had stiffness while running.
Bangladesh were defeated in both the Tests by a huge margin against the host in the last two weeks. With the arrival of ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza, along with all-rounders Shakib al Hasan, Nasir Hossain and Saifuddin, Bangladesh are hoping to play better cricket in the upcoming three-match ODI series.
The practice match begins at 10am local time, 2pm Bangladesh standard time.