Bangla leaves for Lanka, hopes to justify Test status

Published: Wednesday, July 10, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Dhaka: The winless Bangladesh cricket team left on Wednesday for a month-long tour of Sri Lanka hoping to justify its Test status after losing 10 of 11 matches so far.

The 15-member squad, led by wicket-keeper Khaled Masud and coached by former Pakistani paceman Mohsin Kamal, will play a two-Test series and three One-day Internationals. It will be the second tour of Sri Lanka for Bangladesh, which lost its away Asian Test championship tie last year by an innings and 137 runs. The team has not won a single five-dayer since gaining Test status in 2000. Its solitary draw, against Zimbabwe in Dhaka last November, was a washout. Skipper Masud said Bangladesh would play positively and try to forget its dismal record. "We want to start afresh. Our motto would be to give 100 percent against Sri Lanka," said Masud. Bangladesh manager A S M Faruque too exuded confidence. "This time the team is in a very good condition from the fitness point of view, which would help the players perform better." The tour opens on July 12 with two three-day warm-up games followed by the first Test at Colombo from July 21. The second and final Test starting on July 28 and the One-dayers on August 4, 5 and 7 will also be played in Colombo.

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