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Sunday, December 3, 2023

B’desh cricketers hungry to gain pre-World Cup boost in ODI series vs NZ

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MIRPUR, Sept 20: After failing to reach this month’s Asia Cup final, Bangladesh is
hungry to gain a much-needed boost ahead of the 50-over World Cup by beating
New Zealand in the three-match ODI series that starts on Thursday.
Bangladesh rested a host of key players for the Asia Cup, captain Shakib Al Hasan,
Mushfiqur Rahim, Najmul Hossain and Towhid Hridoy among them, in order to keep
them fresh and injury-free, although it has still not named its squad for next month’s
World Cup.
New Zealand has sent only five World Cup-bound players to Bangladesh, stand-in
skipper Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Rachin Ravindra, Ish Sodhi and Will Young.
Tamim Iqbal, who stepped down as ODI captain last month, is back for Bangladesh
after recovering from a back problem. Mahmudullah, axed after the England series
in March following poor form, also returns.
Liton Das, who leads the side in Shakib’s absence, said: “There are many things to
achieve from the series. The first thing is to win, that will be a big achievement
ahead of the World Cup.
“We won’t play to show just individual brilliance. A five-wicket haul or a century
doesn’t matter if the team doesn’t win.”
Ferguson, yet to play on Bangladesh soil, believes conditions will test his New
Zealand team to the limit.

“Bangladesh is very good in home conditions and is a huge challenge here,” he said.
“It’s important for us just to focus on what’s coming up tomorrow and try to adapt as
quickly as possible to the conditions. Some of us haven’t played here so we’ll have
to adapt quicker.”
New Zealand hasn’t won an ODI match in the country since 2008 and Ferguson said
the input of former Bangladesh bowling coach Shane Jurgensen would be
“We’re leaning on the knowledge of the guys who have been here previously and
leaning on Jurgensen about how to play the game, construct our innings with the bat
and try to defend it with the ball, or vice versa,” he said. (AP)

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The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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