BPL not an ideal preparation for NZ series, says Steve Rhodes

Sports Correspondent

19 January, 2019 12:00 AM printer

BPL not an ideal preparation for NZ series, says Steve Rhodes

Steve Rhodes

Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes said that playing wickets produced in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) 2019 suggest it is far from an ideal preparation for the upcoming tour of New Zealand. He told the reporters on Friday.

The pitches in which the matches of the BPL are being played had already raised a question whether it could give the Bangladeshi players an ideal preparation for their upcoming series against New Zealand in which they would visit for a full bilateral series just after the completion of the cash-rich BPL tournament.

Steve Rhodes is seemingly dropping the idea of spending a holiday back at home and while he has been observing the tournament, he didn’t quite give a different opinion regarding the pitches and accepted the general perception.

Bangladesh will travel to New Zealand in February to play three Tests and three one-day internationals along with two Twenty20 international matches. 

On Friday at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium, Steve Rhodes commented to draw out the fact that the BPL is not an ideal preparation for the New Zealand tour.

“Let’s keep that quiet from the New Zealanders that we’ve been playing on these wickets. It’s far from an ideal preparation, the way that we go straight from the BPL into ODIs in New Zealand,’’ said Rhodes.

 “We know that the preparation is going to be very rushed for the ODIs against New Zealand but we’ll put up with that and we’ll give it our best shot and try and win the games that are put in front of us. The Test boys are different. The specialist Test guys got a little bit longer to prepare and acclimatize in New Zealand, so that shouldn’t be a problem,’’ he said.

The wicket of BPL had been the major the talk of the town since the beginning of the sixth edition of the tournament as it hardly produced enough runs on the board initially and though it is proving to be wrong at later stages, there are questions regarding pace and bounces due to lack of grass.

On the contrary Bangladesh will be facing the New Zealander in grassy wickets with enough bounce on it.

On comparing the pitch conditions of New Zealand to Bangladesh’s, Steve Rhodes spoke about how it can affect the batsmen.

“It probably doesn’t test the bowlers enough, these conditions. It certainly tests the batsmen. I’ve got no problems with the grounds-men in Bangladesh; they’re trying their best to produce the best possible wickets for T20 cricket,’’ said Rhodes.

“They’ve played a lot of cricket in Sylhet, Mirpur and Chittagong. So we’re at the stage of the season when the actual squares are getting beaten up quite bad. Ideally, leaving a little bit more grass on the wicket would certainly help. To some of the Bangladeshi spinners, they probably wouldn’t like that but it would make the ball come on the bat probably a little bit more,’’ he said.

“The grounds-men here did a fine job in the last game played because the wicket came on a little bit more as it had a bit more grass and if you wet the wicket a little bit and rolled it in, suddenly we were getting some decent scores,” added Rhodes.

“In the match where Liton Das and Sabbir Rahman opened the batting, the ball came on nicely, especially with the dew. That was a show of what can be produced. I think if we can try and get more wickets like that, leaving in a little bit more grass will help,’’ concluded Rhodes.