School visit humbles Bresnan
Watch a full video of the school visit by the England squad in the video player above
Bangladesh may not be top of every cricketer’s wish-list when it comes to luxury tours, but Tim Bresnan believes it provides an important opportunity to see another side of life.
Bresnan joined 10 England team-mates on a trip to Sher-e-Bangla Government Primary School today to meet local children and share some of their skills in the middle.
The team’s visit - organised in association with the World Food Programme, the ECB's charity partner - also saw the players hand out nutritious snacks designed to help underprivileged students concentrate in class.
And Bresnan is delighted to have a chance to experience Bangladeshi life outside the team hotel.
“I love touring and I love experiencing different cultures,” said the Yorkshire all-rounder. “It’s good to get amongst it and experience things like this, it humbles you.
“There’s a lot of time for sitting by the pool and escaping from all this but it is still going on outside the hotel walls, so it is good to come and have a look and see how these people really live.
“We get the chance to come out of our four walls and being able to be here, handing out biscuits to the kids makes you realise what you’ve got at home.
“It humbles you a little bit and puts into perspective what we have and what they don’t.”
Bresnan’s England team-mate Stuart Broad, who also took part in the school visit, echoed his views.
“It’s been a real eye-opener for us. It’s often easy to miss the poverty and the hunger when you’re caught up in a hectic cricket tour,” he said.
“This meeting, arranged by the WFP, has been a reality check and makes you realise how little it takes to help children get the vital food they need.”
The International Cricket Council is involved in an ongoing review of the structure of Test cricket and some commentators have proposed a two-tier system which splits the highest and lowest-ranked Test nations.
That would almost certainly limit the chances Bangladesh have to welcome top-class players to their shores and is not a situation Bresnan would welcome.
“I came here a few years ago with the England Under-19s and it was great. It raises their profile as much as ours.
“As long as they are a Test-playing nation I think everyone should play everyone and get a good crack of the whip.
“It’s important for us that we play guys like Bangladesh, maybe not as regularly as the top five but once every three years or so.”
The squad members involved at Sher-e-Bangla were in good spirits, laughing and joking with the youngsters and posing for photographs.
Bresnan believes that strong camaraderie in the squad is a positive thing for English cricket.
“We’ve got a mix of youth and experience and the balance is just right,” he said. “We have lads out here who want to work for each other. The team spirit is outstanding.
“We appreciate each other’s success and we celebrate each other’s success - that’s the team ethic.”
The new Brit Insurance 2010-11 official England Cricket Team kit will be available to pre order from April 1 via ecb.co.uk, and in store from April 29