Amid Coronavirus concerns, a few Bangladesh cricketers have returned to practice. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is yet to allow team practice but it has permitted players to practice on their own maintaining hygiene.
Responding to cricketers' requests, BCB has made four grounds across the country available for cricketers so that they can start practising. Nine cricketers were supposed to do so but the number is ten now as Mehidy Hasan Miraz has joined them. Eight of them have done batting practice and fitness training on the first day.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mithun did batting practice and running at Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Fast bowler Shafiul Islam has done running only while Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mahedi Hasan and Nurul Hasan Sohan stuck to fitness training at Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna as instructed.
Khaled Ahmed and Nasum Ahmed have done some running as part of fitness training in Sylhet while Nayeem Hasan couldn't start practising because of bad weather in Chattogram. Apart from that, Imrul Kayes had no practice on Sunday as per the schedule.
Fast bowler Shafiul became very exhausted after a 30-minute running session while Mushfiqur laid down on the ground after the running session. Apart from the rustiness on their return after such a long time, some of the cricketers spoke to The Business Standard about the challenges.
Shafiul Islam (Right-arm fast bowler)
It was not possible to do outdoor running sessions because of the Covid-19 situation. That's why I did running through the stairs of my house. But it was painful. This was my first proper running session since lockdown.
There will be challenges. It'll be difficult to find the rhythm at the beginning. But it will be fixed soon.
I don't think skills will be a problem. We've been playing for such a long time. We worked on fitness and skills during the lockdown period at home as well. It's going to be difficult for us in the first couple of days but we will get back our rhythm very soon.
Nurul Hasan (Wicketkeeper-batsman)
I have been working on fitness on my own. But I have done it at the ground today. Now that ground practice has started, we'll feel that we have a goal in front of us.
It's a great feeling to be back to the ground and practice. Now I feel that slowly but surely cricket will return.
But staying away from the ground for such a long time will affect our fitness a little bit. We've been working on it but we need some time to gain match fitness. This is going to be a challenge for all of us.
Khaled Ahmed (Right-arm fast bowler)
The first day went pretty well by the mercy of Almighty. I did some running. I have been doing fitness training at home though. But there is nothing like practising at the ground.
It's great to be back. The atmosphere here in Sylhet is completely different. Lash green outfield, greeneries everywhere. Overall, the day went well.
It'll be a little difficult to cope with the challenges at the beginning. We haven't been permitted to bowl. At first, we need to be match fit. It will take some time to get the mojo back.
Apart from that, fitness shouldn't be a problem. Because we've been doing fitness training at home throughout. From tomorrow, we'll get some fielding practice as well.
Nayeem Hasan (Right-arm off-spinner)
It's been raining heavily in Chattogram. That's why I couldn't start practising today. I was supposed to do a running and gym session today. It's a little depressing not to resume practice despite the permission.
I will start practising tomorrow if the weather permits. We've been away from the ground for such a long time. So it's going to be challenging for us.
Mohammad Mithun (Middle-order batsman)
We've been allowed to practice after a four-month-long break. It's great to be back to the ground. Things are a bit rusty now because we've been doing these indoors. So at the beginning, it's going to be a little tough but we'll get through it soon.