The Bangladesh team will leave for Sri Lanka on Saturday evening in their first assignment after a shocking World Cup campaign.
The Tigers are hoping for positive results in the three-match ODI series to lift up their spirit. The matches are scheduled for July 26, 28 and 31 at R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo.
Captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza and eight other members of the 14-men squad are scheduled to fly to Sri Lanka on Saturday at 12:45pm in the first batch.
Four other players – Anamul Haque Bijoy, Sabbir Rahman, Rubel Hossain and Mohammad Mithun –playing for Bangladesh A in the one–day series against Afghanistan A team, will go to Colombo on July 22. Another cricketer, Taijul Islam, now in Bangalore with BCB XI, will fly to the island nation on July 23.
Mashrafe, in a pre-series press conference at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Friday, said both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will play the series from the same position.
“The series is really important for us. Our main focus will be to earn some positive results,” he said.
Bangladesh ended the World Cup as the eighth team in the ten-team event.
Mashrafe said it is really a concern that the Tigers did not do well in the World Cup and that this series is an opportunity for them to go back to the positive route.
“I hope everyone’s thinking this way. We’ll come back strongly,” the skipper said.
He acknowledged that it will be difficult to beat Sri Lanka on their home turf. “They’ve a balanced team and played some good matches in the World Cup. I think the series won’t be an easy campaign for us,” he said.
Bangladesh will miss the service of their ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan.
“Shakib is an integral part of our team and we’ll definitely miss him in Sri Lanka. But at the same time, the series comes as a good opportunity for the player who came as the replacement of Shakib,” Mashrafe told the media.
This series might be the last Sri Lanka tour for Mashrafe as the captain of Bangladesh ODI set-up as the right-arm pacer hinted.
“It seems this is my last tour of Sri Lanka as a member of the Bangladesh team,” Mashrafe said.