'Warm-ups will be crucial'
Bangladesh's warm-up games against India and Pakistan before the start of the ICC Champions Trophy in England will be quite crucial for the Tigers, team manager and board director Khaled Mahmud said yesterday.
"The venue where we are playing [Kennington Oval] is generally flat. I know how the wickets there generally are. That's why the wickets in the Dhaka Premier League are quite flat this time. It will help the batsmen's confidence and it will compel bowlers to cope with the wicket with yorkers and other deliveries," Mahmud told reporters in Mirpur.
"That's also why the warm-up games against India and Pakistan will be very important. If we play well against them on those wickets, the players will get plenty of confidence. Besides, Tamim [Iqbal], Mahmudullah [Riyad] and Mushfiqur [Rahim] are doing well in the league as it is, I think they are already confident," he added.
Bangladesh have been placed in Group A in the Champions Trophy alongside England, Australia and New Zealand.
While they will be facing England and Australia at the Kennington Oval, they will face New Zealand at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, where Bangladesh beat Australia in 2005.
The Champions Trophy is scheduled to begin on June 1 and Bangladesh are expected to play their warm-up games on May 27 against Pakistan and May 30 against India.
Prior to that, the Tigers will be taking part in a tri-nation series in Ireland, including the hosts and New Zealand.
On another note, the Bangladesh Cricket Board is scheduled to have its board meeting tomorrow. One of the key agendas during the meeting will be the decision regarding the new contracts of the players. Although it is believed their salaries will be increased, reports suggest that the increment may not meet the desire of the national players.