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Walsh wants to keep Fizz fresh for WC

  • Published at 12:21 pm April 22nd, 2019
Bangladesh bowling coach Courtney Walsh Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Bangladesh are going to play at least four matches in the 50-over tri-nation series which is being seen as a part of their preparations for the global event involving 10 nations

Bangladesh national pace bowling coach Courtney Walsh has expressed concern over the fitness of left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman. The former Windies pace legend Walsh cited Mustafizur should be given proper rest to have him fresh for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, and if needed the bowler should be rested in a few matches during the tri-series with West Indies and hosts Ireland. 

The Bangladesh pacer has been suffering from an ankle injury that he picked up during a practice session for his Dhaka Premier League club Shinepukur Cricket Club.

Bangladesh are going to play at least four matches in the 50-over tri-nation series which is being seen as a part of their preparations for the global event involving 10 nations.

“Mustafizur has got a big role to play in the World Cup, once he is fit. But I don’t think we rely on any one player. Shakib [Al Hasan], Mash [Mashrafe Bin Mortaza] and Rubel [Hossain] has been consistent. Fizz [Mustafiz] hasn’t been as sharp since his injury, and he keeps picking up slight niggles. A fully fit Mustafizur can win games for you but we have to have him as fit as possible. We have a bit of time on our side. My concern is that, I hope we don’t over-rush him, and probably use him too much in Ireland, and he is not fresh for the World Cup,” said Walsh following national team’s first practice session at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Monday.

Among the five pacers involved in Bangladesh squad for the World Cup, three, including Mustafizur, are dealing with injuries. Pace all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin has been dealing with a tennis elbow injury while right-arm pacer Rubel Hossain is recovering from a side strain. Dealing with the injuries, the Bangladesh think-tank are surely looking into having the backups on toes in the shape of Shafiul Islam, Taskin Ahmed and Khaled Ahmed.

“Out of the five we have three injured – Fizz, Rubel and Saifuddin, who has the tennis elbow. We need to get them back into bowling, within the right frame of mind, and allow them to be sharp enough to do a bit of bowling in Ireland and be ready for the World Cup. We have Taskin Ahmed, Khaled Ahmed and Shafiul Islam as well [for backup]. You can probably say that we have them just in case we need them,” Walsh explained.

Conditions in England, the host nation for the World Cup are expected to be conducive for the pacers. But the pacers will need to know what to do in order to restrict opponent batsmen.

“We have to read the conditions and the surfaces we play on. In some places, the ball may swing more while in others, it may swing less. We have to assess when we get there. Most of the wickets will be docile and flat. We have to work on our variations and execution,” said the former player who was the first man in history to achieve 500 Test wickets. 

“Everybody studies one another these days, so they know our strengths and weaknesses. Likewise, we also know theirs. So it is about execution on the day, and trying to be smart,” said the 56-year old Jamaican. 

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