Bangladesh disappointed by under-strength Windies

Tino Best, Darren Sammy and Floyd Reifer were not who B'desh were expecting to play in the first test against Windies starting on Thursday at Arnos Vale.

updated: July 09, 2009 09:49 IST
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Tino Best, Darren Sammy and Floyd Reifer were not who Bangladesh were expecting to play in the first test against West Indies starting on Thursday at Arnos Vale.

After the entire 13-man West Indies squad led by captain Chris Gayle announced on Tuesday it was boycotting the home series against the Bangladeshis in a contract dispute with its employers, the West Indies Cricket Board scurried to put together a new team in less than 48 hours.

The WICB managed to summon former test players Best, Sammy, Floyd Reifer and Dave Bernard Jr., some from the West Indies A side which drew with Bangladesh in a three-day match last weekend, and some from the regional under-19 tournament.

But Bangladesh wasn't impressed.

"We want to play the first team," Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said on Wednesday. "We would like to play against Chris Gayle, (Shivnarine) Chanderpaul and others.

"We want to play them because we can learn so many things when those guys are batting or bowling."

Although 11 of the new 15-man squad trained with West Indies coach John Dyson on Wednesday, there was no official confirmation of the squad or its captain.

Dyson tried to put a positive spin on the situation.

"It's going to be an exciting time," the former Australia opener said as he worked with his new charges on Wednesday. "We'll just have to do our best, won't we.

"(It's exciting to) see new players with new opportunities. For a lot of these players this is a huge opportunity to showcase their skills. It will be exciting to see how they actually grasp that opportunity and show the Caribbean that they are here and ready to play."

Dyson admitted he was disappointed not to be able to lead the senior players he has worked with since taking over as coach in November 2007.

"I think we were working towards certain goals with the other players and it's a little disappointing not to be able to continue that work because I think we did do some good things during that time," he said.

"But this is the way it goes in professional sport these days. We've got a new group of players, there's some exciting players amongst them and it's going to be an interesting series."

The boycotting players say they played without a contract this year during the tour by England, the return tour of England, the Twenty20 World Cup and the home one-day series against India.

On Saturday, they refused to attend the launch of the 2010 Twenty20 World Cup to be hosted by the WICB.

The WICB described that no-show as "extremely ill-advised and premature" and claimed that "negotiations are ongoing with a view towards resolving all matters" with the West Indies Players Association.

The WICB confirmed there were still contract disputes with the players regarding previous tours but claimed that the withdrawal by the players "constitutes a clear breach of the collective bargaining agreement between WICB and WIPA."

After failing to meet with WIPA on Monday and Tuesday, the WICB said it was prepared to meet with WIPA on Thursday in Trinidad "to once again attempt to resolve the outstanding issues."

Meanwhile, fast bowler Best was preparing to play his 13th test and first since 2005, when he was a member of the replacement touring team to Sri Lanka because of a similar dispute.

Sammy has played five tests, 23 one-dayers and eight Twenty20s and recently toured England, and was a leading candidate for the captaincy with Reifer, the veteran left-hander from Barbados.

Reifer, two weeks shy of his 37th birthday, played the last of his four tests in January 1999 but enjoyed a prolific 2009 regional season as captain of Combined Colleges and Campuses.

Offspinner Ryan Austin, allrounder Andre Creary and fast bowlers Kemar Roach, Kevin McClean and Nelon Pascal appeared last weekend for West Indies A, and coming from the under-19 tournament in Jamaica was Barbados' 16-year-old batting prodigy Kraigg Brathwaite.

"It's an opportunity for players to actually play test cricket and show people that, hey, I want to play this game," Dyson said.

"Normally I would say that with such a turnaround so quickly, the other side would be the favorites but I think it's fairly even.

"Bangladesh is not an easy cricket team. They have played some good cricket in the last 12 months, they are an improving team. So we'll have our hands full to do well against them."


West Indies: Ryan Austin, Dave Bernard Jr., Tino Best, Kraigg Brathwaite, Andre Creary, Travis Dowlin, Kevin McClean, Nikita Miller, Nelon Pascal, Omar Phillips, Floyd Reifer, Dale Richards, Kemar Roach, Darren Sammy, Chadwick Walton.

Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (captain), Mohammad Ashraful, Shakib-al-Hasan, Shahdat Hossain, Tamim Iqbal, Mahbubul Alam, Raqibul Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Mehrab Hossain Jr, Mahmudullah, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Mushfiqur Rahim, Enamul Haque Jr, Sagbir Hossain.