Bangladesh hope Sri Lanka win will bring more Tests

New Straits Times - - Sport -

DHAKA: Bangladesh’s his­toric Test vic­tory in Sri Lanka should en­cour­age more teams to find space in their sched­ules to play the fast-im­prov­ing min­nows, ac­cord­ing to the head of the coun­try’s cricket board.

In their 100th Test, Bangladesh beat Rangana Herath’s men by four wick­ets in Colombo on Sun­day — their first vic­tory away from home against top-class op­po­nents.

Bangladesh’s only other vic­to­ries on for­eign soil since gain­ing Test sta­tus in 2000 came against fel­low strug­glers Zim­babwe, and a West Indies side which had been weak­ened by a strike among their main play­ers.

Sun­day’s win has stoked hopes that Bangladesh are now fi­nally be­com­ing a force to be reck­oned with af­ter they beat Eng­land for the first time in a five-day match in Oc­to­ber.

Their lack of suc­cess has been one of the rea­sons ma­jor crick­et­ing na­tions have been re­luc­tant to sched­ule matches against Bangladesh, with last month’s one­off Test in Hy­der­abad their first ever match in In­dia.

Their only tour of Aus­tralia was also way back in 2003, but Bangladesh Cricket Board pres­i­dent Naz­mul Has­san told re­porters that the vic­tory in Colombo could mark a sea-change in at­ti­tudes and that more matches with Test teams were al­ready be­ing pen­cilled in.

“There is no doubt that ev­ery team will show their keen in­ter­est to play with us, way more than it has been in the past,” Has­san said.

“They will field their full strength team against us. All the teams will see Bangladesh in a dif­fer­ent way.

“We have done our ground­work for the next one year, what and how we need to do things. Ac­tu­ally, we will play 10 Test matches within this pe­riod.

“We’ve never got to play so many Tests in the past in one cal­en­dar year be­cause the big teams did not take Bangladesh se­ri­ously,” he said. Bangladesh nor­mally play around six Tests a year. AFP

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