Tigers Gear Up Amid Windies Players' Test Boycott
Thursday, 09 July 2009

Bangladesh will be hoping that the first Test against West Indies will proceed as planned on Thursday despite the boycott announcement by the home players' union because of a long-running contractual dispute.

"The West Indies Cricket Board has assured us that the match will start on time and our side has been training as normal," BCB spokesman Jalal Younus told bdnews24.com on Wednesday.

The Test series has been plunged into uncertainty after the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) said on Wednesday its members could no longer play without contracts.

West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) president Julian Hunte said he expected the first Test to go ahead, but refused to be drawn on whether an alternative squad would be selected for the game.

"As far as we are concerned (there) will be a Test match on Thursday," he was quoted by Reuters as saying.

"(But) goodness me, we can't play a Test match without players. I can't go beyond that," he said, adding that he intended to release a statement regarding the game later on Wednesday.

Media reports in the Caribbean said most players from the West Indies squad had returned to their homes and were not preparing for Thursday's match as planned.

Bangladesh are already in the Caribbean, having played a warm-up game in Barbados against the West Indies A team though there was no huge success in game, but the Tigers can take some confidence after having a good batting practice in the second innings.

Former captain Mohammad Ashraful and opener Tamim Iqbal struck fifties while other top order batsmen got starts thought they could convert those into half-centuries.

New captain Mashrafe Bin Mashrafee will be wanting to inject confidence they lost during the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in England though the Chris Gayle-led West Indies would be a little more formidable than the A team.

After being appointed captain, Mashrafe emphasised the need of increasing confidence levels and said that if they could start playing well from the first match, they would go into the first Test with a good momentum.

Mashrafe also wanted 100 percent from all of his players.

Bangladesh might have fond memories of their first trip to the West Indies five years ago when they ran the hosts so close in the series.

The West Indies are coming off a tense four-match one-day international series loss to India, and are still unsettled with their attack weakened by the absence of the injured Fidel Edwards.

But, the hosts' batting line-up still has considerable depth in Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo and Denesh Ramdin.

Squads

Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (captain), Shakib Al Hasan (vice-captain), Enamul Haque Jr, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Mahbubul Alam, Mahmudullah, Mehrab Hossain Jr, Mohammad Ashraful, Mushfiqur Rahim, Raqibul Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Saghir Hossain, Shahadat Hossain, Tamim Iqbal.

West Indies: Chris Gayle (captain), Denesh Ramdin (vice-captain), Adrian Barath, Sulieman Benn, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Runako Morton, Brendan Nash, Ravi Rampaul, Andrew Richardson, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Jerome Taylor.

Source: bdnews24.com

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