Inside Ground

No Tamim Iqbal as Bangladesh announce World Cup squad; Mahmudullah included

Publish: 09:01 PM, 26 Sep, 2023


Bangladesh's veteran opening batter, Tamim Iqbal, has been omitted from the 15-man squad for the upcoming ICC Men's Cricket World Cup, as announced by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Tuesday. Meanwhile, experienced batter Mahmudullah has secured his spot in the team.

The squad selection process generated considerable discussion, with several players being automatic choices. Tamim Iqbal, despite not being in peak physical condition, seemed like a surefire inclusion, especially after his confident return to international cricket with a fluent 44 against New Zealand.

However, reports emerged in local media just a day before the squad announcement, suggesting that Tamim had informed the management of his inability to play in all nine group matches of the tournament due to his fitness concerns. These reports reportedly left Shakib Al Hasan, the team's star all-rounder and captain, dissatisfied, even to the point where he contemplated stepping down as captain. Ultimately, the selectors decided against picking Tamim.

In a noteworthy development, Nafees Iqbal, Tamim's elder brother and the team's logistics manager, left the Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium during Bangladesh's third ODI against New Zealand, and it appears he was removed from his post at Shakib's request.

The squad features some fresh faces as well, with Tanzid Hasan, who made his international debut in the recently-concluded Asia Cup, and Tanzim Hasan Sakib, the promising fast bowler who impressed in his debut against India in the Asia Cup, earning their spots.

Bangladesh used the ongoing New Zealand series as an opportunity to experiment and assess potential options for the World Cup. Unlike most other teams, the selectors refrained from announcing a provisional squad, keeping fans and experts in suspense until just a couple of days before the ICC's deadline.

Mahmudullah, who had been absent from the ODI side for a considerable period, finally earned a place in the team after lower-order batters failed to make their mark in recent series. Mahmudullah's performance in the New Zealand series proved crucial, as he top-scored with a 76-ball-49 in the second ODI amid a batting collapse.

The spin duo of Nasum Ahmed and Mahedi Hasan also secured their spots in the squad after delivering strong performances in the latter part of the Asia Cup and the early stages of the New Zealand ODIs.

Soumya Sarkar, on the other hand, auditioned for a role but struggled, recording a duck in the second ODI against New Zealand before being dropped from the squad for the third game.

The finalized squad for the World Cup comprises the following players: Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Litton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim (wicketkeeper), Towhid Hridoy, Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Tanzid Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Hasan Mahmud, Shoriful Islam, Mahedi Hasan, Nasum Ahmed, Tanzim Hasan Sakib.



Inside Ground

Gill, Jurel help India clinch Test series against England

Publish: 08:56 PM, 26 Feb, 2024


Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel kept calm to lead India to a series-clinching five-wicket win over England on day four of the fourth Test on Monday.

Chasing 192 for victory, India slipped to 120-5 but Gill (52) and Jurel (39) put on an unbeaten stand of 72 to achieve the target in the second session in Ranchi.

The win gave India an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series after they lost the first Test.

It was the first series defeat for captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum since they took charge in 2022 and changed England's fortunes with their attacking philosophy dubbed "Bazball".

Gill played the anchor in his 124-ball knock as he and Jurel, who made 90 in India's first innings, staved off a mini-crisis when Shoaib Bashir took two wickets in two balls soon after lunch.

India still needed 72 more but Gill and Jurel rotated the strike coolly to pick off singles before raising his fifty with two successive sixes off Bashir.

Jurel hit the winning runs, punching the air and hugging his partner as the Indian dressing room rose to celebrate.

India started the morning strongly with captain Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal extending their overnight 40-run opening stand to 84.

Root made the breakthrough in his first over of the day, as he induced Jaiswal, on 37, to loop a catch to a diving James Anderson at backward point .

Rohit reached his half-century but fell for 57, stumped by Ben Foakes off Tom Hartley's left-arm spin.

England's travelling army of fans then erupted when Bashir, who took his maiden five-wicket haul in the first innings, had Rajat Patidar brilliantly caught by Ollie Pope for a duck to leave India 100-3.

After the interval Bashir silenced the home fans with his twin strikes to give England some hope of an unlikely win.

Ravindra Jadeja slapped a full toss Jonny Bairstow at mid-wicket, Sarfaraz Khan tickled the next ball to Pope backward short-leg for a duck but Jurel survived the hat-trick ball.

England had scored 353 all out in their first innings and led by 46 after India's 307.

Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav set up the victory after they shared nine second-innings wickets to bundle out England for 145 on day three.

England had recovered from 112-5 in their first innings courtesy of Root's unbeaten 122.

India were without pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested, but the bowling stood up -- including debutant quick Akash Deep, who took three early wickets after England elected to bat.

Anderson reached 698 Test wickets in the match and needs two more to become only the third bowler to 700 after Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan and late Australia spin wizard Shane Warne (708).

The fifth and final Test begins on March 7 in the Himalayan hill town of Dharamsala.

India   England   Test Cricket  


Inside Ground

Messi the creator as Miami win in MLS opener

Publish: 01:37 PM, 22 Feb, 2024


Lionel Messi created both goals as Inter Miami made a winning start to the new Major League Soccer season with a 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on Wednesday.

The Argentine World Cup winner, who played the entire game, put aside any concerns about his fitness with an excellent performance for Gerardo "Tata" Martino's team.

Against a cautious Salt Lake side, Messi went close to opening the scoring in the 18th minute with a curling free-kick from 30 yards out which was headed off the line by Justen Glad.

But Miami got in front when Spaniard Sergio Busquets found Messi and the eight-times Ballon d'Or winner cleverly slipped the ball through to Finnish forward Robert Taylor, whose low shot beat RSL keeper Zac MacMath.

The goalkeeper should have kept the effort out but it was a goal which forced the visitors to open up after the interval and their more aggressive approach caused Inter some problems.

Cristian Arango blasted a half-chance high over the bar for Salt Lake and then, after Busquets sloppily gave the ball away, Andres Gomez burst goalwards but the Colombian winger fired wide.

Sensing his team needed another goal or two to make sure of the points, Messi upped his workrate and began to take control of the game.

The 36-year-old weaved down the inside left channel to find space for a cross to the back post to Julian Gressel but the German put his effort wide from the tight angle.

Then Messi burst from deep and found his former Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez who picked out Diego Gomez and the Paraguayan midfielder buried his shot low into the far corner to make it 2-0.

That trio almost combined again for a third with Messi slipping to Gomez who then served Suarez but the Uruguayan's effort was saved by the outstretched leg of MacMath.

Inter Miami return to action on Sunday at Los Angeles Galaxy.

Leo Messi   Inter Miami   MLS  


Inside Ground

Bangladesh's Jahir Rayhan clinches silver in 400-meter sprint

Publish: 08:42 PM, 19 Feb, 2024


Mohammad Jahir Rayhan brought laurel for Bangladesh by clinching first ever silver medal in the Men's 400-meter sprint of the Asian Indoor Athletics held in Tehran Sunday night.

He was the 2nd Bangladeshi athlete after the gold medalist Imranur Rahman, who win a medal in the Asian level meet.

Jahir Rayhan, won first-ever Asian silver medal for Bangladesh as he finished 2nd in the 400-meter sprint with a timing of 48.10 seconds.

Earlier, Imranur Rahman, the fastest man of Bangladesh for the last three consecutive times, reached the semifinal in his favourite 60-meter sprint of the Asian Indoor Athletics held  in the Iranian capital Tehran also on Sunday.

Imranur Rahman, the current gold medalist of the Asian 60- meter sprint, competed in the event's heats number-3 and finished 2nd with a timing of 6.62 seconds on Sunday.

He was ranked 4th in overall heats to reach the semifinals.

Ali Anwar of Oman clinched top slot in heats number -3 clocking 6.56 seconds.

Another Bangladeshi athlete Rakibul also took part in heats number 4 of the event and finished 4th with a timing of 6.87 seconds.

The 30-year-old England-based Bangladesh origin athlete Imranur Rahman brought laurels for the country as he emerged  as the first Bangladeshi athlete to win the first- ever Asian gold medal in the men's 60- meter sprint of the 10th Asian Indoor Athletics held in Astana, Kazakhstan February last year.

The event's semifinals are scheduled to be held Sunday night while the final is billed for Monday.

Another Bangladeshi athlete Jahir Raihan will compete in the 400-meter sprint final Sunday night.

Five athletes of the Bangladesh  team are: Imranur Rahman, Rakibul Hasan (60-meter sprint), Zahir Raihan (400-meter sprint), Mahfuzur Rahman (High Jump) and Shirin Akhter (60-meter sprint).

Asian Indoor Athletics   Bangladesh   Jahir Rayhan  


Inside Ground

Commonwealth Karate Championship to be held in Dhaka on Sept 25

Publish: 08:54 PM, 17 Feb, 2024


The Commonwealth Karate Championship will be held from September 25-29 at the Shaheed Suhrawardy Indoor Stadium in the city's Mirpur.

Bangladesh Karate Federation is going to organize a big event for the first time in the country, said a press release.

A total of 32 Commonwealth countries have already confirmed their registration and the organizers hoped that the number of participating countries will be increased further.

In this regards, a press conference was held today at Shaheed Suhrawardy Indoor Stadium to provide all the details of the meet.

Commonwealth Karate Federation president Sonny Pillay (8th Dan), who was present at the press conference as the chief guest said, informed that "If an event like the Commonwealth Karate Championship is organized in Dhaka, it'll have a positive impact on the country's economy because one and a half thousand athletes and officials from nearly forty countries across the world will come to Dhaka."

Bangladesh Karate Federation president Dr Mozammel Haque Khan, its vice president Moazzem Hossain Sentu and its general secretary Kaw Shaw Hla were also present.

In 2021, Bangladesh succeeded in presenting the proposal to be the host of this year at the Congress of the Commonwealth Karate Federation.

Out of the seventy two countries belonging to the Commonwealth, thirty two countries have already registered to participate in this championship. The competition will be held in nine disciplines in two categories - nations and club championships.

Cadets, juniors, U-21, seniors and veterans will compete in the club championship while cadets, juniors, U-21 and seniors will vie in the nations category. Nearly One and a half thousand karateka will fight in both kata and kumi category.

Federation's president Dr. Mozammel Haque Khan said: "We have won the honor of hosting the Commonwealth Karate Championship by defeating four countries like Barbados, Trinidad, Tobacco and Bosnia. Now our challenge is to organize the game properly so that we can organize bigger events of karate in the future."

The accommodation, food and travel expenses of karatekas participating in the championship will be borne by their respective countries.
 The host country will get 40 percent of the Commonwealth and 60 percent of the money for the registration of karatekas in the Nations category.

Commonwealth Karate Championship   Bangladesh  


Inside Ground

Hafeez out as Pakistan national cricket team director

Publish: 04:06 PM, 16 Feb, 2024


Pakistan cricket authorities said Thursday they would not renew the contract of national team director Mohammad Hafeez, showing him the door after disastrous tours of Australia and New Zealand.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) appointed 43-year-old Hafeez in late 2023 after the side crashed out of the World Cup in India.

But in his brief tenure Pakistan were whitewashed 3-0 in a Test series in Australia and lost 4-1 in the Twenty20 series in New Zealand.

"Hafeez's contract expired after the New Zealand series last month so PCB is not extending it," PCB media director Aaliya Rasheed told AFP.

A losing streak has prompted a major shakeup for Pakistan, with skipper Babar Azam stepping down from all three formats in November and foreign coach Mickey Arthur also getting sacked.

The PCB has also seen major changes at the helm, with a revolving door of chairmen.

On Thursday, the PCB also terminated the central contract of fast bowler Haris Rauf for refusing to play Test matches in Australia last year.

"Refusal to be part of Pakistan's Test squad in the absence of a medical report or justifiable reason is a violation of contract," said a PCB statement.

Rauf, 30, has so far played one Test, 37 ODIs and 66 Twenty20 internationals for Pakistan.

Pakistan next tour Ireland and England for Twenty20 series in May, before featuring in the World Cup (20 overs) to be held in the United States and West Indies one month later.

Pakistan cricket   Mohammad Hafeez