The Selectors of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) are sweating over the fitness of the pace bowlers. During an interaction with the media on Tuesday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Minhazul Abedin, the chief selector of BCB said that the injuries to the main pace bowlers have left them dismayed.
Two of Bangladesh's main pacers- Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed - were unable to take part in the first round of the ongoing National Cricket League (NCL) because of injuries. While Mustafiz is still uncertain for the next round of NCL, Taskin needs to wait at least two more weeks to get back in action.
"We have been in doubt with the pace bowlers for the last six months or so. Most of our main pacers are suffering from injuries. If we sort out 10 fast-bowlers, we will find five of them are injured. The issue is even bigger because some of our young pacers of the High-performance unit are also suffering from injuries," Minhazul told the media.
Mustafizur last played in the T20 tri-series at home last month. Since then, he has been out of action due to an ankle injury. On the other hand, Taskin has been suffering from side-strain. Before the T20 tri-series, he was close to returning to international cricket after a long break of 16 months but another blow to his injured leg pushed him back again.
"Mustafiz was supposed to play from the beginning of the NCL. But due to his ankle injury, he is unable to take the pressure of bowling. So we kept him out of the game, for precautionary reasons," Minhazul told about Mustafizur's injury.
"We always have to face questions regarding the fitness of the pacers. But we think that the scenario will change in the next couple of years. We have now set a benchmark in fitness level for the First-class cricket. It is always tough for a fast bowler to do well with a lower level of fitness," Minhazul further added.
Bangladesh's next international assignment is in India, where the Tigers will face the hosts in three T20Is and two Tests. Minhazul believes that the Bangladesh bowlers will have to face a tough time in India.
"We always play for a good result. The thing is not different here. But fitness is the most important thing which helps the boys to do well. I think the bowlers will have to face a challenging time in India. I don't say that they have the ability to take 20 wickets of India in Test cricket. But we have the experience. If the bowlers can utilize their experience they might be able to test the Indian batting lineup," Minhazul added.
At the same time, Minhazul expressed his satisfaction over the performance of Imrul Kayes in the first round of NCL where the left-hander hit a double-ton. But the chief selector also said that he wants to see another round of NCL before making a final call on awarding Imrul another national call.
"Imrul had to go through a tough time for a family reason. After that, he came back to play cricket and hit a double-ton. It was a really good comeback for him. But it is just one round of the NCL. We have to see more which will clear many things," Minhazul concluded.