RSS feeds from

England Lions news RSS

Fitness worries for Bangladesh

England Lions

Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook progresses to 31 before falling to Rubel Hossain. He is hopeful that "one score" will arrive in next week's first Test

Bangladesh face an anxious wait over the fitness of two key players ahead of the first Test against England at Lord’s.

Skipper Shakib Al Hasan is still suffering from chickenpox and was not deemed fit enough for the ongoing match against the England Lions at Derby, the last tour game before the Test, which starts next Thursday.

Although opening batsman Tamim Iqbal played and scored 36, a hand injury is still causing him discomfort and he will see a specialist after the game.

Coach Jamie Siddons admitted it would be “a disaster” if the duo missed out, adding: “We can’t replace those two. We have got replacements here but not of that quality.

“Shakib got a couple of new spots yesterday so I guess the virus is still lingering. He’s got six or seven days before he needs to put his boots on so he’s leaving it pretty tight.

“We are definitely keen to have him in there, especially as a bowler. He was at the ground today - 99% of our players have had it and he’s staying away from one or two that haven’t.”

Left-hander Tamim is a key figure at the top of the order, and Siddons said: “We will probably take him to a specialist in London again and, if he says don’t do it, we won’t play him.

“He's had a fracture that's healed but he hit one ball today and it hurt. He will bat in the second innings and then see the specialist.”

The Lions closed on 124 for three after bowling Bangladesh out for 220, with Andrew Gale unbeaten on 63.

Lions captain Alastair Cook failed to build on a good start and kicked the ground in annoyance when he was out for 31, but he is not overly concerned by his moderate start to the season.

The England opener, who has scored 258 runs in nine first-class innings, “There are some excellent bowlers in county cricket and I’ve had a couple of good balls this season.

“It's just one of those things and you've got to keep working and trust a bit of luck will turn your way.

Tamim Iqbal

Tamim Iqbal defies the pain of a recent hand injury to make 36, but there are concerns over his fitness ahead of the first Test

“I would like to be in a bit better nick but we all know with batting that one score changes everything and hopefully that will be next week.

“The hardest thing is getting in. Then you cash in and make it count and that's what I haven't been doing this year. Hopefully it's more of a mental thing that I can address over the next week.”

Get our free apps

Apps Promo

Download the ECB Cricket app for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry or Nokia phones and get live scores, news, video and other services on the move