Bangladeshi ready to make history

NEVER before has the first signing of a Bangladeshi in county cricket been greeted with such acclaim. Worcestershire have agreed a contract with Skakib Al Hasan, rated by the ICC computer system as the world’s No 1 one-day all-rounder.

Still only 22, Shakib has turned himself into a formidable left-hand bat and left-arm spinner, good enough to take 7-36 against New Zealand in the 2008 Test at Chittagong, the best figures by a Bangladesh bowler in an innings to date. He took over as captain from the injured Mashrafe Mortaza during the 2009 tour to West Indies and led Bangladesh to their first overseas Test win.

Though the West Indies, minus their captain Chris Gayle and all their best players, were weakened by their dispute with their cricket authorities, victory still had to be achieved. In fact the result showed that it would serve no use for the ICC to end Bangladesh’s Test status. They are too strong for every minor nation while they attempt to build their strength and domestic infrastructure.

England will find when they tour next spring that much money and resource has been aimed at Bangladeshi cricket. For one of the world’s poorest countries it is surprising that they have such fine cricket arenas and a decent high performance centre outside Dhaka. All they need is a couple of world class players to spark some momentum.

The players tend to be physically slight in stature with a natural disadvantage, but at under-19 level Bangladesh have a very good record, certainly at home. They beat a touring England side in a four-day Test this winter.

Shakib is due to join Worcestershire at the end of Bangladesh’s 2010 England tour in mid-July. It seems extraordinary that the county should go for a Bangladeshi, but that is what used to be said about Sri Lankans 30 years ago. And Sri Lanka won the World Cup before England — and at this rate so will Bangladesh.

Still only 22, Shakib has turned himself into a formidable left-hand bat and left-arm spinner, good enough to take 7-36 against New Zealand in the 2008 Test at Chittagong, the best figures by a Bangladesh bowler in an innings to date. He took over as captain from the injured Mashrafe Mortaza during the 2009 tour to West Indies and led Bangladesh to their first overseas Test win.

Though the West Indies, minus their captain Chris Gayle and all their best players, were weakened by their dispute with their cricket authorities, victory still had to be achieved. In fact the result showed that it would serve no use for the ICC to end Bangladesh’s Test status. They are too strong for every minor nation while they attempt to build their strength and domestic infrastructure.

England will find when they tour next spring that much money and resource has been aimed at Bangladeshi cricket. For one of the world’s poorest countries it is surprising that they have such fine cricket arenas and a decent high performance centre outside Dhaka. All they need is a couple of world class players to spark some momentum.

The players tend to be physically slight in stature with a natural disadvantage, but at under-19 level Bangladesh have a very good record, certainly at home. They beat a touring England side in a four-day Test this winter.

Shakib is due to join Worcestershire at the end of Bangladesh’s 2010 England tour in mid-July. It seems extraordinary that the county should go for a Bangladeshi, but that is what used to be said about Sri Lankans 30 years ago. And Sri Lanka won the World Cup before England — and at this rate so will Bangladesh.

Still only 22, Shakib has turned himself into a formidable left-hand bat and left-arm spinner, good enough to take 7-36 against New Zealand in the 2008 Test at Chittagong, the best figures by a Bangladesh bowler in an innings to date. He took over as captain from the injured Mashrafe Mortaza during the 2009 tour to West Indies and led Bangladesh to their first overseas Test win.

Though the West Indies, minus their captain Chris Gayle and all their best players, were weakened by their dispute with their cricket authorities, victory still had to be achieved. In fact the result showed that it would serve no use for the ICC to end Bangladesh’s Test status. They are too strong for every minor nation while they attempt to build their strength and domestic infrastructure.

England will find when they tour next spring that much money and resource has been aimed at Bangladeshi cricket. For one of the world’s poorest countries it is surprising that they have such fine cricket arenas and a decent high performance centre outside Dhaka. All they need is a couple of world class players to spark some momentum.

The players tend to be physically slight in stature with a natural disadvantage, but at under-19 level Bangladesh have a very good record, certainly at home. They beat a touring England side in a four-day Test this winter.

Shakib is due to join Worcestershire at the end of Bangladesh’s 2010 England tour in mid-July. It seems extraordinary that the county should go for a Bangladeshi, but that is what used to be said about Sri Lankans 30 years ago. And Sri Lanka won the World Cup before England — and at this rate so will Bangladesh.

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