Bangladesh is heading to Caribbeans on 20th February to participate in a tri-series involving Bangladesh and two associates Bermuda and Canada. This is considered as an acclimatising tour for Bangladesh, who will be playing Caribbean after almost three long years. The tri series will be held at Antigua recreation ground and Bangladesh will play Bermuda on 25 February and will take on Canada on 28th. After the tri series Bangladesh will play against New Zealand on 5th March 2007 and Scotland on 8th March as part of the World Cup Warm up matches before featuring the Gala event starting from 13th March 2007. Both the matches will be played at Barbados.
Bangladesh played some good cricket over the last one year and surpassed their trivial rivals Zimbabwe and Kenya comfortably. Bangladesh Cricket is on the verge of entering the big league where they will pose continuous threats to every other country and is expected to win a match in their day against any opposition. Now, this transformation requires some excellence in every aspect of their game including the mindset. Coach Dav Whatmore injected some confidence into the squad and the mindset is slowly but gradually changing. It is the high time in the Caribbean to exhibit the change of mindset to the cricket world and make the transformation happen.
ICC tri series involving Bermuda and Canada is the first opportunity to do that. Bangladesh has to make some records straight as they have mixed memories against these opposition. Undoubtedly, Canada inflicted the worst wound in the cricketing history of Bangladesh by defeating them in the last world cup at South Africa. Surprisingly, that's not the only time when they defeated Bangladesh, in the ICC trophy Bangladesh tasted one defeat against the same opposition and managed only one win in three encounters. Bangladesh played Bermuda twice in the ICC trophy level and manged to win one match while lost the other. Looking at the statistics, it is clear that there is no reason to take these oppositions lightly. Having said that, Bangladesh must establish their utmost superiority over these countries to make any impact in the world cup cricket 2007.
Bangladesh holds much better record against the leading minnow nations Zimbabwe and Kenya but the annoying fact is they never played these oppositions with a ruthless fashion which other top teams do. Bangladesh will be playing the tri-series in Antigua which is considered as the batting paradise of the Caribbeans. Canada and Bermuda has a less than decent bowling attack. All guns of Bangladesh team must utilize the opportunity in the best possible manner and show their might in the ruthless fashion by amassing huge total in both the matches. Same goes for the bowlers and they must distinguish themselves from ordinary attacks. Winning is important but a modest win against these oppositions will not add anything to Bangladesh's credit. Two thumping win will create some noise in the world cricket arena and draw some attention which Bangladesh badly needs in the upcoming world cup.
After the tri-series, Bangladesh will travel to lovely Barbados which has one of the most lively wickets of the Caribbeans. Bangladesh will find more similarity in wicket nature of Barbados and Trinidad compared to Antigua and Trinidad. At the same time, there will be some similarity in the strength of the oppositions. First warm up match against New Zealand is the most crucial affair for Bangladesh apart from the crucial world cup ties against India and Sri Lanka. Bangladesh failed miserably in all matches they played against New Zealand and never managed to cross even 200 in any of the seven matches played. After two and half years, it is the time to display some cricketing skill against the Kiwis and sneak a win to continue the momentum going. Even if, they fail to win, the match should be close enough to exhibit the change of gear, Bangladesh cricket made over the last one year. The cricket world will monitor this match closely as this will test Bangladesh's cricketing ability more than 10 matches against Zimbabwe or Kenya. The last practice match against Scotland must be another routine affair where Tigers will show their killing spree.
Bangladesh failed to take the most ideal preparation for the world cup due to lack of matches against quality oppositions. Keeping that in mind, we must admit, Bangladesh managed to achieve the most from what was offered to them by the ICC. For the first time in their cricketing history, Bangladesh will be playing World Cup Cricket with the aim to reach the next round which their juniors achieved for the first time in last U-19 world cup. They have four one day matches to play, they must utilize these matches to build the momentum and reach the peak in right time. If they can do that, cricket world will experience a different Bangladesh who are ready to make a history.