After a three-day quarantine period in the team hotel, the Bangladesh team started training on Friday ahead of the five-match T20I series against New Zealand starting from September 1 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
On the same day, the New Zealand cricket team also started gearing up for their first international series in Bangladesh in many years. After arriving in Bangladesh on August 24, the members of the New Zealand team also maintained a three-day quarantine.
“It’s a big thing that we are getting a chance to play cricket in this crazy time of the pandemic,” Nurul Hasan Sohan, Bangladesh’s wicketkeeper-batsman told the media. “Life in the bio-bubble is so tough. But we have managed to adapt to it. I think the situation is going to be good in the coming days.”
A New Zealand player, Aleen Finn, tested positive for Covid-19 on August 24, and he is now in isolation. To replace him, New Zealand brought in Matt Henry for this series.
“I haven’t been to Bangladesh. It is my first time there. I have played in India and UAE. I have experience in sub-continent conditions so I am going there with a lot of confidence. There were a lot of low-scoring games in the last series there, so looking forward to the challenge. I played domestic T20 cricket last season, so I will fall back on that experience,” Henry told the media about his first visit to Bangladesh.
“I have played against Bangladesh over the last few years. But those were in our conditions, which are very different from what we are about to experience. Bangladesh has been very strong in their recent series. They are known to be a very tough team to play at home. We have had some good training in slower wickets in Lincoln. There will be a lot of change-ups, and different ways of bowling. I have experience in those conditions,” he added.
Bangladesh took on Australia in the last series at home and won 4-1. It was Bangladesh’s maiden series win over Australia in any format of international cricket.
The Tigers are upbeat to replicate the same performance in the upcoming series as well. “We are refreshed now. We just started training ahead of the New Zealand series. We believe we can do well in the field,” Sohan said.
Bangladesh played a total of 10 T20Is against New Zealand but failed to win any of them. So this series came as a great chance for Mahmudullah Riyad-led Bangladesh to create a new chapter of their history.
While the first match of the series will take place on September 1, other matches will be played on September 3, 5, 8 and 10 at the same venue. All the matches will start at 4 p.m. Bangladesh time.
Bangladesh squad: Mahmudullah Riyad (capt), Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das, Musaddek Hossain Saikat, Afif Hossain, Mohammad Naim, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Shamim Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Mohammad Saifuddin, Shoriful Islam, Taijul Islam, Mahedi Hasan, Aminul Islam Biplob, Nasum Ahmed
New Zealand squad: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Finn Allen, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Scott Kuggeleijn, Cole McConchie, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears, Blair Tickner, Will Young, Matt Henry