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‘Back up’ players training with high intensity for World Cup

The players who are in the ‘back up’ plan for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup are determined to prepare them the way the national players are taking preparations for cricket’s biggest extravaganza, said Saif Hassan.

Soumya Sarkar, Zakir Hasan, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Syed Khaled Ahmed, Tanzim Hasan Sakib, Taijul Islam and Mahmudullah Riyad are in Bangladesh Cricket Board’s (BCB) back up plan for the World Cup apart from Saif.

Mahmudullah, who was axed from the Asia Cup squad, is yet to join the camp due to family affairs, according to a BCB official, AFP reported.

Tamim Iqbal, who is trying to get back to International cricket with the home series against New Zealand is also training with this selective group. Tamim is still considered as an automatic choice to play the World Cup, subject to his fitness.

But the same thing is not applicable with these eight players. They can only make their way if someone in a certain position in the main squad gets injured.

But Saif said despite the uncertainty hovering around their World Cup dream, they are not compromising with the intensity with which the World Cup-bound players are training.

“I think it (the practice with selective group) is a backup plan for the World Cup. We have separate training sessions for those who are on standby and those who are in the plan for the World Cup. The practice session is designed to make everyone ready for the World Cup,” Saif said here today.

“It is designed in such a way that the intensity of practice should match that of the national team. That’s the message that was conveyed. And the plan is to get rid of the deficiencies that we have as players.”

A few days ago, Saif led the Bangladesh ‘A’ team in the Emerging Asia Cup in Sri Lanka. Most of the Asia Cup matches, however, are going to be played in Lankan Island this time in this hybrid model tournament would originally be hosted by Pakistan.

Saif also shared his impression of the wicket in Sri Lanka, predicting that the Asia Cup would be high scoring affair.

“I think all the matches I have played except the semifinal had produced 300 plus total. Since a big event is coming up, I think it will be like 300 plus wicket. The curators there generally produce high scoring ground for white ball cricket. I believe we are able to chase 300 plus runs,” he opined.

Even though Saif is in the backup plan for World Cup, the cricketer is considered to lead the Bangladesh team in Asian Games, which will coincide with the World Cup.