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Battered Bangladesh look to reverse slide

cricket Updated: Mar 07, 2011 01:10 IST
Nilankur das
Nilankur das
Hindustan Times
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Bangladesh have three more matches to go in the group stages, two of which would be played here. Right at the beginning of the tournament they had set themselves a target of winning three matches in the group stage which they thought would give them a good chance of going through.

But a series of “funny” results in the group are slowly taking them further away from that target.

With England, who are up next here, beating South Africa on Sunday to revive their campaign, there are now almost every team in the group with a chance of going through. That makes Bangladesh's job even more difficult and winning just three might just not be enough.

Players devastated
Coach Jamie Siddons repeatedly used the word devastated to describe the mood in the Bangladesh dressing room after the team's meek surrender to West Indies on Friday. He said it would still be sometime before the boys recovered.

Expectations had soared before the West Indies match and the loss had sparked violent reactions from the fans. But Siddons said it is the players who have been the worst affected.

“Everybody was disappointed but not more than the players themselves. Fans need to realize, and I think they do realize, that the players were the most devastated, most embarrassed, most upset by the result. They don't go out there to play cricket like that. We are very keen to bounce back from that performance," Siddons said as the cricketers teamed up for a game of football during their first training session at the port city.

Way forward
The way forward, the Australian said, was to shut themselves out by not reading the newspapers or watching cricket shows on the local channels but that did not seem to work.

“We try not to read the paper or listen to what people write. Lot of players are disappointed by what the former players have said,” Siddons said but then he himself reacted to a newspaper article in a Bengali daily.

“I am disappointed by some of the past players that are saying stuff about me as well. I wish they had said that on my face but some of them are not that courageous,” he said.

Army help
In and around the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium, army help has been sought to get the beautification and cleaning work over in time for the match.

Quite a bit of it still remains and the authorities are not taking any chances.