The tri-series in Ireland before the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales will help Bangladesh get used to the conditions, but it will be vital to ensure that players get enough rest, opener Tamim Iqbal has said.
Bangladesh are set to play two one-day internationals each against hosts Ireland and West Indies in the tri-series starting 7 May, ahead of the final, should they qualify. Then come the World Cup practice matches and the tournament itself, which is being played on a round-robin format.
While this offers Bangladesh a great chance to settle on combinations and get used to the conditions, a busy schedule raises concerns of injuries and burnout. Speaking on Wednesday, 24 April, Iqbal identified workload management as the big challenge.
“The only [negative] I see here is playing 13-14 matches in around one and a half months. We do not get to play much in those conditions," he told reporters. "The key will be to rest the people who need it, especially in Ireland. We cannot afford to rest them in the World Cup."
Bangladesh have done well in the last few ICC tournaments: they reached the semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England and the quarterfinals of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2015. But Iqbal knows they have their work cut out for them this time.
“It’s true that we are not used to chasing 340-350 [totals]. We know that we have to chase 280-300-320 in every match of the World Cup. So, we have to work it out,” he admitted, adding that he hoped in such situations they can execute their plans properly.
“I think, if we want to restrict our opponent to 300, bowlers have to bowl very well. It might be an exceptional one or two days where you bundle your opposition out for 240-250. 300, I think, is chaseable score in England. So, we have to prepare ourselves for that."
Bangladesh open their campaign on 2 June against South Africa at The Oval.