FOOT­BALL Loew ex­tends Ger­many reign un­til 2020

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

BANGLADESH heaved a sigh of re­lief yes­ter­day af­ter suc­cess­fully host­ing Eng­land for a month-long se­ries and hop­ing their grip­ping bat­tle would per­suade other teams to fol­low suit af­ter se­cu­rity fears proved un­founded.

The tour was plunged into doubt af­ter five Is­lamist gun­men at­tacked a restau­rant in Dhaka in July, killing 18 for­eign­ers, with Eng­land’s lim­ited overs cap­tain Eoin Mor­gan among oth­ers de­cid­ing to sit out the se­ries.

But af­ter be­ing promised se­cu­rity mea­sures more usu­ally ac­corded to heads of state, the bulk of Eng­land’s play­ers did agree to travel and played their part in a nail-bit­ing con­test.

Af­ter Bangladesh pulled off a 108run vic­tory in the sec­ond and fi­nal Test in Dhaka on Oc­to­ber 30 to level the se­ries, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) chief ex­ec­u­tive Niza­mud­din Chowd­hury was beam­ing with joy.

“We’ve done ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to make the tour suc­cess­ful and it was a huge, a huge suc­cess,” Chowd­hury told AFP.

“A sense of great com­fort and re­lief is pre­vail­ing ev­ery­where.”

The Bangladesh board, which has long strug­gled to per­suade teams to travel to Test cricket’s new­est na­tion, was dealt a ma­jor blow last year when Aus­tralia scrapped a planned tour at the last minute on safety grounds.

The BCB was wary that a ma­jor se­cu­rity in­ci­dent in­volv­ing Eng­land could con­demn it to the same fate of Pak­istan, which hasn’t hosted a ma­jor Test team since an at­tack on the Sri Lankan bus dur­ing a match in La­hore in 2009.

Niza­mud­din said he hoped the Aus­tralian board – whose chief se­cu­rity of­fi­cer Sean Car­roll vis­ited Bangladesh last week to wit­ness the mea­sures pro­vided for Eng­land – would be per­suaded that Bangladesh was a safe venue.

“It was a big chal­lenge for us to host this event suc­cess­fully on the field and off the field. And we think we have done that. We have been praised by the Eng­land cricket board, their play­ers and of­fi­cials,” Niza­mud­din said.

“Given the cir­cum­stances, there could not have been a bet­ter se­ries on and off the field. It’s a clear mes­sage to the rest of the world that Bangladesh is an ab­so­lutely per­fect venue for host­ing any in­ter­na­tional event.”

The first of the two matches, which Eng­land nar­rowly won by 22 runs, was Bangladesh’s first Test in nearly 15 months.

While Aus­tralia’s re­fusal to tour par­tially ex­plains the dearth of Tests, a big­ger prob­lem has been Bangladesh’s poor record since gain­ing Test match sta­tus 16 years ago.

Their vic­tory in the sec­ond Test was only their eighth in 95 con­tests – and the first against a full-strength side from a ma­jor coun­try.

Be­fore the match, skip­per Mush­fiqur Rahim had pleaded for more teams to play Bangladesh, say­ing that the only way they would im­prove would be to get more games un­der their belt.

It was a point echoed yes­ter­day by Mo­ham­mad Ashra­ful, one of Rahim’s pre­de­ces­sors who just re­turned to do­mes­tic cricket af­ter serv­ing a three-year ban for match fix­ing.

“We need more Test matches to im­prove,” Ashra­ful told AFP, say­ing the se­ries proved that Bangladesh could now com­pete against the best.

“I just hope our play­ers will get this op­por­tu­nity and they de­serve it.”

Even though the de­feat will have dented the mood in the Eng­land camp ahead of their ea­gerly awaited tour of In­dia, Bangladesh fans were swift to praise skip­per Alas­tair Cook and his team for mak­ing the trip.

Af­ter watch­ing a pre­ced­ing ODI se­ries from the side­lines, Cook flew back to Bangladesh for the first Test only days af­ter the birth of his sec­ond child back in Eng­land.

Writ­ing on Face­book, Bangladesh fan Ra­jib Hasan hailed Cook for agree­ing to re­turn to the fray even it meant he only had “his baby in his arms for a cou­ple of min­utes”. – GER­MANY’S World Cup-win­ning coach Joachim Loew has ex­tend his con­tract un­til 2020, the Ger­man Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion (DFB) an­nounced yes­ter­day.

The 56-year-old, who took charge in 2006, has inked a two-year ex­ten­sion that will see him lead Ger­many’s de­fence of the World Cup in Rus­sia in 2018 as well as their Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship cam­paign in 2020.

If Loew stays in of­fice un­til 2020, his 14-year reign would make him the joint sec­ond-long­est-serv­ing Ger­many coach, equalling the reign of Hel­mut Schoen (1964-78).

Af­ter hav­ing won a fourth World Cup in Brazil two years ago but los­ing to hosts France in the Euro 2016 semi-fi­nals in July, one of Loew’s goals is to win their first Euro­pean crown since 1996.

“We have vi­sions and things that we want to tackle, so the time of the ex­ten­sion was just right,” Loew told a press con­fer­ence in Frank­furt.

“The goal is, of course, to re­peat our suc­cess story in Rio and we want to be Euro­pean cham­pi­ons, which is a big goal of mine.

“When the head and the heart both say ‘yes’ at the same time, then there is not much to think about.

“I feel the same mo­ti­va­tion as I did at the be­gin­ning of my term at the DFB and I still feel their con­fi­dence.”

“It’s simply great fun to work with this team and these play­ers.”

Loew, who took charge of die Mannschaft af­ter the 2006 World Cup fol­low­ing two years as as­sis­tant coach un­der Jur­gen Klins­mann, will re­port­edly re­ceive a pay rise to earn 4 mil­lion eu­ros (US$4.4 mil­lion) per year.

His old deal is be­lieved to have earned him an an­nual salary of around 3 mil­lion eu­ros per year.

“Loew is the best coach that we in the DFB’s ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee can imag­ine,” said Ger­man FA pres­i­dent Rein­hard Grindel.

“We have the same goal – we want to de­fend our World Cup ti­tle in Rus­sia and, af­ter we were so close to it in France this year, we want to try to be Europe cham­pi­ons in 2020.”

Grindel added that Loew’s new deal was “a re­ward” for the head coach’s hard work, but the pres­i­dent wanted to get the con­tract signed be­fore the Ger­man FA meets in Er­furt on Novem­ber 3-4.

Sepp Her­berger holds the 28-year record for a Ger­many coach, from 1936-64, dur­ing which time he led West Ger­many to their first World Cup ti­tle in 1954.

Ger­many, who are top of their 2018 World Cup qual­i­fy­ing group with three straight wins, play San Marino away in their next qual­i­fier on Novem­ber 11 be­fore fac­ing Italy four days later in a friendly in Mi­lan. –

Photo: AFP

Me­hedi Hasan (left) cel­e­brates af­ter Bangladesh won on the third day of the sec­ond Test cricket match in Dhaka against Eng­land on Oc­to­ber 30. Bangladesh won by 108 runs and lev­elled the two-match Test se­ries 1-1.

Photo: EPA

Ger­many’s coach Joachim Loew speaks at a press con­fer­ence in Hanover on Oc­to­ber 10.

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