Bangla selector laments lack of bench strength

Published: Wednesday, October 6, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Dhaka:Lamenting the non-existence of a second string national side, and absence of proper domestic competitions, Bangladesh cricket chief selector Faruque Ahmed said he has little options at hand to make changes in the national squad for the upcoming home series against New Zealand.

"At the moment my hands are tight because I'm not in a position to choose a new player on performance. We need to have a broader pool of players to select a team from."

"Once we've that I'm sure there will be a healthy competition among the players for berths in the side. Right now, it's difficult to replace a experienced guy even if he is out of form or injured because we don't have a potent bench strength who could readily pull in their weight," Faruque said.

The former national captain further indicated that injured pace trio Mashrafee-bin-Mortuza, Talha Jubair and Mohammad Sharif and left-arm spinner Enamul Haq may not be considered for the New Zealand series.

He said there was hardly any chance to see the four injured bowlers in action during the series. "We want to be make sure that they have fully recovered. We don't want to take any chances. We don't want them to break down again," he said.

The chief selector also made a strong pitch for more exposure for Bangladesh 'A' team and added that's the only way the yawning gap between the national and backup teams could be bridged.

"Presently, we've to bank on the Under-19 squad as they are well tuned and in good touch with the game. But I think it's not good good enough. There's a crying need to have a solid second string side to fill in the gap," he observed.

Faruque however, harboured the hope the Bangla Tigers would be able to make a good impression in the home series against New Zealand.

"We' re trying our best to find the right combination. To accomplish that, we're working with almost the same set of players for quite some time now and I think they will stand up and be counted this time around," Faruque said with lot of optimism.

Faruque is also aware of the poor record Bangladesh have at home compared to their overseas record.

"We don't boast of a great home record. However, I'm sanguine that the boys will fare well here," he opined.

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