Bangladesh sweats over Tamim, Mushfiqur fitness

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DHAKA — Former captain Mushfiqur Rahim and opener Tamim Iqbal have added to Bangladesh’s injury woes ahead of their first Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka in Dhaka Thursday.

Tamim complained of muscle pain in his left arm and Mushfiqur did not train on Wednesday because of a wrist injury.

Bangladesh selectors have added batsman Mohammad Mithun to the squad as cover.

“Tamim felt some pain in his bicep all of sudden yesterday. This is why we are still waiting to decide our combination,” stand-in skipper Mahmudullah said Wednesday.

“There are also some concerns about Mushfiqur as he has niggles on his wrist. But we hope he will be alright.”

Bangladesh is without regular captain Shakib Al Hasan, who failed to recover from a finger injury sustained during the tri-series one-day tournament final in January.

The final T20 of the two-match series will be played in Sylhet Sunday.

Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh in the tri-series final, before winning the Test series 1-0.

Bayliss won’t rush Stokes back into team

England coach Trevor Bayliss has welcomed the return of Ben Stokes but said the all-rounder is unlikely to play the first One-Day International of the New Zealand series.

Stokes indicated a plead of not guilty to a charge of affray at Bristol magistrates’ court Tuesday and will join his England teammates this week in Hamilton ahead of their five-match series starting Feb. 25.

Bayliss said Stokes, who will miss the Twenty20 game against the Kiwis Sunday, needs to get back up to speed before he can feature in the starting 11.

“He hasn’t played for a while,” Bayliss told reporters. “It is not as if we can maybe bring him straight back for these T20s, for example.

“We have got to get him up to speed and hopefully during this one-day series we can get him back into the team.

“At this stage I’d have to say it was unlikely (he’ll play the first ODI). We’ll have to wait and see how he is with travel, with practice.”

Stokes, one of world cricket’s most destructive batsmen, last played a competitive match for Canterbury in New Zealand’s domestic T20 competition last December.

His absence was not necessarily felt during England’s 4-1 ODI series win against Australia. However, that success has been followed by three consecutive T20 failures, with two losses against Australia and on Tuesday against New Zealand.

“Right throughout the summer we’ve been down to five bowlers, especially in the one-dayers and T20s,” Bayliss added.

“We’ve been able to have six bowlers before, which gives the captain plenty of different options. I think that’s what we’ve missed the most apart from his individual performances.”

Stokes is expected to feature in England’s two tests against New Zealand at Auckland and Christchurch next month. — Agencies


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