A mostly content Bangladesh camp faced a bit of controversy after a news report in a Bengali daily suggested that pace-bowling all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin may have been overplaying a back injury to get out of the tough World Cup match against Australia, which Bangladesh lost by 48 runs in Nottingham on Thursday.
Bangladesh Cricket Board's cricket operations committee chairman Akram Khan, in the UK with the team, said yesterday that they would have to take Saifuddin's word as far as the state of his injury was concerned. While Saifuddin's situation is as yet uncertain, former national captain Akram however said that the other injured regular, Mosaddek Hossain, is looking good for the next match against Afghanistan in Southampton on June 24 after missing the Australia match because of pain in his left shoulder.
"As far as I know he [Saifuddin] is experiencing some pain and it may take some time," Akram said. "I will talk to the physio [Thihan Chandramohan] about that. But Mosaddek may be fit for the next game.
"He [Saidfuddin] did not play because he has a problem. You cannot just avoid playing a match if you feel like it. And if he says that he has pain, then we will have to place importance on his words."
Mosaddek's probable return will be a fillip for the Tigers as they attempt to win all three of their remaining matches to stay in contention for a maiden World Cup semifinal berth. More than his batting at number seven, Bangladesh need his part-time off-spin to balance the bowling attack, which they missed against Australia when left-handed batsmen David Warner and Usman Khawaja ran up a match-shaping 192-run second-wicket partnership.
Saifuddin is still the highest wicket-taker in this edition of the World Cup for Bangladesh, having taken nine wickets from four matches. He did not practise on the eve of the match against Australia. Bangladesh bowling coach Courtney Walsh said before the match against West Indies that he had been struggling with an injury and that he would be happy to have Saifuddin 95 per cent fit heading into the match. Saifuddin played that match, and took three wickets for 72 runs in 10 overs.