Tigers shift focus on Test championship

Bangladesh shifts their focus on longer version cricket as they start their preparation for the Test championship with the one-off Test match against Afghanistan in September, reports Cricfrenzy.

For most part of the last two years Bangladesh Cricket Board focused on ODI’s as part of their preparation for the just concluded ICC World Cup.

However, now the governing body seemed to putting all their emphasis on Test and Twenty20 cricket as they will be eyeing to make a statement in the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup and Test Championship.

Bangladesh will be playing Test and T20Is for larger part of the next one year and that prompted BCB's to lay their focus on shortest format of the game but more importantly they are even more inclined to excel in the longer format of the game.

Bangladesh is expected to be led by Shakib al Hasan in the Test Championship with a two-match Test series against India in November but just before the start of the Test Championship, Bangladesh have a chance to play a Test against Afghanistan, scheduled at Chittagong from September5-9.

BCB does not want to leave any stone unturned as far as preparation is concerned for Test Championships against India and as a result they are expected to make national cricketers participation in the National Cricket League, country’s traditional first-class competition, mandatory at least in 75 percent of the game.

NCL is expected to start from October 15 until November 22 while the Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL), a franchise-based first-class tournament, will be held in January.

As BCL will not be useful to prepare for the Test Championship in India, Tigers will have to take it[ preparation] in the NCL as they are expected to get two rounds of the tournament before boarding for India.

 "We want the national team to play in at least 75 percent of the matches. There will be a meeting after the Eid holidays. We will finalize it in the meeting,’’ said chief selector Minhajul Abedin adding that there is no other option of developing Test cricketer without making the first-class tournament competitive.

In the past BCB made it mandatory for national cricketers to play in domestic first class cricket but not everyone obliged and there were substantial numbers of national cricketers were missing citing different excuses. BCB looked to be strict in this regard in the coming days knowing that longer version cricket does not excite the national players compared to the shorter format of the game.

 Bangladesh Test specialist Mominul Haque believe that players will be more motivated to do well in the longer format in the coming days as there is competition of winning in Test championship.

 “It[ Test championship] will be good for a country like ours as the acceptance of the four-day match  will increase than before,’’ said Mominul.

‘’There is something of a dignity in the Test Championship. All the teams will be on the field for a good game and would want to win the Test championship like the way they try to win the World Cup,’’ he said.

‘’So the competition will be much higher. There will be tension. Everyone wants to play for the best,’’ he said adding that he feels that increasing the number of Tests in Bangladesh is a big positive he believes that the chance of playing Test against regular big teams could help them change the mindset about Test cricket in Bangladesh.

“Earlier it would have been rare that we are playing against big teams but now that will not be the case as we will be playing them quite often,’’ said Mominul.

‘’It will certainly be better than before  because earlier I used to play 3-5 tests a year, now there will be more Test,” concluded the left-hander.