Busy time rocks Bangladesh Sports

Raihan Mahmood …

Shakib Al Hasan confident of his team’s chances against Zimbabwe

Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh captain, thinks his team is slightly ahead of Zimbabwe as they prepare for their first Test match in more than 14 months. The 15-member squad left Dhaka on July 27 to play a one-off Test and five one-dayers in what will be Zimbabwe’s return to the game’s premier format after six years. While the hosts have played a number of games against the second-string sides of South Africa and Australia, Bangladesh have only gone through a long fitness camp and some two-day games against the Academy side before the tour. Still, Shakib believes that they go into the series as favourites.

“I think we are, but I won’t say that we are too far ahead of them since we’re playing in their weather and conditions and playing after a good gap. But still, I think we’re the favourites,” Shakib said during the pre-tour press conference in Mirpur on Monday. “I am not thinking about it as a problem and as Stuart [Law] said, everyone should be excited and I’m sure they’re interested to do well in the Test.

“They [Zimbabwe] are getting good practice against South Africa A and Australia A. They will be prepared so we’ll have to play our best cricket.” said Shakib.

Bangladesh Football Team’s dream shattered

Bangladesh’s dream of reaching the Asian group stage of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers was dealt a huge blow when they went down 4-0 against Lebanon in their round 2 pre-qualifying match at the Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium.
Bangladesh have never reached the proper group stage of the qualifiers since it was introduced in 2003, but this time they were looking to create history, boosted by their impressive win over Pakistan in the earlier round and with the knowledge that the opponents Lebanon are ranked below them in the FIFA ranking.
The falling standard of Bangladesh football was once again exposed in the 4-0 drubbing.. Lebanon, out of international football for a couple of years scored two each in the either half of the match revealing Bangladesh’s tactical and technical weaknesses.

Interestingly all of the South Asian countries played away matches this week and Bangladesh was playing against the lowest ranked opponents in that list. Iran ranked 48th in the Fifa ranking won 4-0 against Maldives in Tehran, 82nd ranked Jordan thrashed Nepal 9-0 at Amman, Oman beat Myanmar 2-0 at Muscat, and UAE routed India 3-0 at Al Ain. While most of these results look more or less logical, Bangladesh’s 4-0 loss is sure to raise eyebrows.

The sudden omission of the regular skipper and experienced custodian Biplob by head coach Nikola Ilievski was  talk of the football arena. Playing two matches against Pakistan and two Super Cup matches in front of the head coach Biplob was never in the Ilievski’s unwanted list. Bangladesh earlier defeated Pakistan 3-0 at Dhaka and drew goalless at Lahore to move to the second round and to playLebanon.

3rd Asian Zurkhaneh Sports & Koshti Pehlavani Championship held at Dhaka

A total of 300 wrestlers from 26 Asian countries took part in the 3rd Asian Zurkhaneh Sports & Koshti Pehlavani Championship held at the Wooden Floor Gymnasium in Dhaka.It would be the biggest sports event in Bangladesh as far as the numbers of the participating country are concerned. The 26 participating countries are Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Philippines, Uzbekistan, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Chinese Taipei, Taiwan, Philistine, Chine, Japan, South Korea, Syria, Thailand, Vietnam, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Bhutan, Mongolia, Singapore and hosts Bangladesh.
Along side the tournament, Bangladesh will hold the fourth World Congress on July 30.
Koshti Pahlavani (Heroic wrestling) will be held on four categories: 60-70 Kg, 70-80 Kg, 80-90 Kg, +90 Kg.
The Zurkhaneh Sports individual skills would be held in following disciplines:
Sang Giri (Shield Lifting), Charkh-e-Teez (Whirling), Kabbadeh (Chain & Bow), Meel Bazy(Juggling Club), Meel Gerefin (Heavy Metal Turning) & Shelang Takhteh (Wood Stick and Blade).
The expenditures for the tournament is estimated Tk 22m. Asian Zurkhaneh Federation will bear air fair of all participating athletes, juries and dignitaries as well as all the local transport costs.

Nikola Ilievski new national football coach

The Bangladesh football coach saga came to an end as former Macedonia coach Nikola Ilievski took over as the new head coach of the national team. Facing the media the new national coach spoke first, “I come from Macedonia, a small country, where I have coached league 1 teams and won the title 7-8 years ago.”
Ilievski is the 16th foreign coach of Bangladesh national team. Asked whether he thinks he could cope with the new team, new condition, and the new place, he replied in his laboured English, “No problem here in Bangladesh.”
In reply to what motivated his decision to take over the Bangladesh national side the Macedonian said, “The name does not mean much to me. It can be China, Argentina or any other international side. For me the main thing is being the coach of an international side.”
The 56-year-old was a former player of the Yugoslavian national team and played in the 1982 World Cup in Spain. He added, 35 years ago, he was part of the Yugoslavia team that played in Brazil.
Ilievski follows no famous coach like Mourinho or Sir Alex Ferguson. He said that he has his own philosophy and own strategy. But he admired the coaching style of Portugal’s Scholari and England’s Ericsson.
Before taking over the Bangladesh job he was coaching the Albanian club KS Bylis Ballsh.

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