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  1. BCB president upbeat about positive cricket in Pakistan SPORTS REPORTER, Dhaka Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan Papon said the upcoming Twenty20 series between Bangladesh and hosts Pakistan will be good and highly competitive. Citing the last series in India, Nazmul said, “We should have won the series against India. We’re on a winning position in the series after the victory in the series opener though we could not do it finally. We had no Shakib and Tamim. So, there was a big gap due to the absence of these key players.” “We’ve got some players in BPL who have what we’re seeking for so long. Even some important players have returned to form. Of them, Liton got back in form, Tamim is also playing well though we’re yet to see his hard-hitting strokes, but he got back his confidence and that is a plus-point for us. Afif has been playing well, and so are Naim and Shanto. Off-spinner Mahadi Hasan has also returned to his form. We’ve got to see among them the spirit and courage what are needed for T20,” Nazmul told reporters after holding a meeting with the players, coaching staff, and officials at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur yesterday. "We have seven batsmen in the line-up. But we will not get scores from them everyday. Maybe two-three among them can fire. We’ve at least six batsmen, who can build a big score and that’s a plus point,” he added. He tipped the absence of Mushfiqur Rahim as unfortunate. “We’ll miss the service of Mushfiq. He is the dependable batsman for our team. He once again proved in BPL that he is the best. From that point of view, we will definitely miss him,” he added. “We also won't have Shakib. So, we’ll miss both of them. It is unfortunate for us if we don’t get in-form players. But I think it’ll be a good series. Like them, we hope it’ll be a good series. Bangladesh should win the series,” he said. The BCB president urged players of the Bangladesh Twenty20 squad to focus more on their games during their tour of Pakistan. Asserting full security to the players and coaching staff, Papon said there will be no security problem for them in Pakistan because they will go there with full preparation besides the high-security arrangement provided by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). “Any Twenty20 match is a high-tension game. A match could changed at every moment. So, I told them to keep a cool head. Inshallah, nothing will happen. We are with them all. We’ll stay and eat together. There is no problem,” Nazmul said. “A highly capable team from National Security Intelligence is going with us. There will be personnel from DGFI with us as well. We will take full preparation from our side on what is needed to make this tour successful. We’re trying our best. We didn’t talk about security this time around. There is nothing to worry about security,” he added. The BCB president entered the stadium and talked with players undergoing practice during their first practice session ahead of their Pakistan tour. He later informed that he had come to Mirpur for four reasons. He met all the players as he didn’t get a chance to meet them after BPL. Along with that, he has to go out of the country on emergency basis tomorrow night though he will return on January 22. Although he can't accompany the team from the start of the tour, he will meet them in Pakistan on January 23 and stay with them throughout the series. It was important to make sure which supporting staff are going there, for which he sat with everyone to fix the list. BCB director Akram Khan and chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu will accompany the BCB boss in Pakistan. Bangladesh will fly to Pakistan on Wednesday (January 22) night and reached on Thursday (January 23) morning (10am). The visiting team will hold a light practice on Thursday evening at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, before clashing against the home side under the lights on Friday (January 24). http://www.theindependentbd.com/post/233078
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