Bangladesh reach for the sky in effort to deflect responsibility for poor display in New Zealand

It doesn’t quite meet the standards of the Zambian tennis player who blamed defeat on a tight jockstrap and his opponent farting too much, but in elite-level sport you’ve got to start somewhere when your performance doesn’t quite match expectations.

Nasum Ahmed laid the foundations for a career of deflected responsibility on the Bangladesh team’s return from a tour of New Zealand in which they lost all six matches against the Black Caps.

The home team’s clean sweep in three T20s and three ODIs brought to 32 the number of games in all formats in which Bangladesh have failed to register a single win on New Zealand soil.

The left-arm spinner, who made his international debut on the T20 leg of the tour, might have been surprised to be singled out for scrutiny by the media pack after the team arrived back in Bangladesh but showed no lack of ambition in explaining the shambles of a tour, where the catching of the tourists – or lack of it – came in for particular criticism

Reaching for the heavens both literally and metaphorically, the 26-year-old from Sylhet said: “The sky in New Zealand is much clearer than here [Bangladesh] and the weather is not like ours. If we could stay there for one and half months to two months, I think our fielding could improve.

“We needed a little more time. If we could have trained there for 15 days or more, I think the result could be better.”

Nasum seemed on firmer ground when he turned to discussion of the surfaces his team had struggled on. “I think we are a bit lacking behind in terms of wickets,” he said. “The wickets in our country and the wickets there are very different. But as we are professional cricketers, we have to adjust to every condition.”

The Tigers will now prepare for their tour of Sri Lanka later this month, although left-arm pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman has flown to India to join his Rajasthan Royals franchise in the IPL, which starts on Friday. Fellow countryman Shakib Al-Hasan will also take part in the tournament, his decision to do so in preference to playing for Bangladesh in Sri Lanka causing some controversy at home.

Broadcast Schedule

England v West Indies 2024
ENG v WI 3rd Test, Edgbaston
26th July to 30th July
Start time: 11:00 am BST