Captain calls for focus on cricketStaff Correspondent
Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim called on Sunday for everyone to shift their focus on cricket, rather than match-fixing issues, as he expects a hard-fought home series ahead against New Zealand.
The cricketing corridor of Bangladesh has spent most of its time over the last few weeks preoccupied with the outcome of the ICC Anti Corruption and Security Unit report on the Bangladesh Premier League match-fixing scandal.
On August 13, the ICC charged nine individuals for being involved in or failing to report match-fixing during the second edition of the BPL.
‘Certainly it distracts your attention,’ Mushfiq told reporters as the Tigers began their training for the home series at the Sahara-BCB National Academy.
‘It is always difficult to keep concentration. Everyone knows it is a mental game, so you have to keep yourself energised to maintain your concentration. The 12 players who are here are trying to do that. Those who are outside are also trying to do that,’ said Mushfiq.
‘There is nothing new to say on this issue. I was shocked. But those who are found guilty should be taken to task. There is the ICC and the BCB to do that. Everyone from the age-level group should take a lesson from this,’ he said.
‘If one of your colleagues is engaged with this sort of thing then it will hurt. At the same time, it is not the first time in cricket. There have been big names that were involved in it. As [this scandal] was the first in this country, it was painful, but it should finish quickly and a normal atmosphere should return,’ he added.
The wicketkeeper-batsman added that the New Zealand series is knocking at the door and they need to put emphasis on that.
‘We have a big series ahead and we are trying to concentrate on that. New Zealand are playing well these days and they have defeated England, which is a great achievement,’ said Mushfiq.
‘We will have a psychological advantage as they were whitewashed in the last series [in Bangladesh in October 2010], but things have changed. They have become stronger, while we have some good individual cricketers in our team we hope to have a good series,’ he added.
Mushfiq revealed that the side have already started doing their work to prepare for the New Zealand series.
‘We have done our homework on the New Zealand team. They have three to four left-arm pace bowlers, so we are trying to play more left-arm pace bowlers in the training camp,’ Mushfiq said, though the absence of players on duty with the Under-19, Under-23 and Bangladesh A teams has affected their preparation.
‘There are not too many [left-arm pace bowlers here now], but after the three teams return from their respective tours they will be in the camp and we hope practice will be better after that,’ he added.
The New Zealand side are scheduled to play two Tests, three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches with the hosts when the tour begins early in October.
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