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Influential Bangladesh pair on course

Investec Test Series

Shakib Al Hasan & Mohammad Ashraful

Shakib Al Hasan has been in isolation from some of his team-mates, but has recovered enough ahead of Thursday

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan and opening batsman Tamim Iqbal are both expected to be fit for the first npower Test against England at Lord’s.

All-rounder Shakib has been unable to play since Bangladesh’s opening tour match against Surrey at the Brit Oval, because of chickenpox, while Tamim is still struggling with a wrist injury which will require surgery after this series.

Dashing left-hander Tamim will have one last check before his participation is confirmed, but it seems he is prepared to play through the pain for a maiden appearance in a Lord’s Test.

“It’s getting better,” he said. “I went to a specialist yesterday, and he said, ‘you’ve got two choices’.

“‘Either you play with taping and hope there won’t be any harm, or you can have a surgery that will take three months.’

“We have a very busy schedule, so the team management told me to decide.

“I am seeing another doctor, and if it won’t do any harm then I’ll definitely play, and think about surgery when I am free.

“Today I have an appointment with the doctor, so we’ll see how it goes. I’m very excited to play at Lord’s in a Test match. It will be a dream come true.

“If everything goes all right, and the doctor gives me the green signal, then I’ll play the first match - and if anything goes bad I’ll go for surgery.”

Twenty-one-year-old Tamim is one of a majority in the touring squad who have never played in a Lord’s Test - and he is not about to let the occasion pass him by.

“I’ve pushed 5% more than maybe I would have done on other grounds,” he admitted.

“I’m really excited and I really want to play. I don’t know when I’ll get another chance.

“Test cricket is the most important. I don’t want to take any chances - but I’m batting okay in the nets, and the pain is day by day getting better.

“So it’s all about what the doctor says.”

Shakib is over his illness - having had to be kept in isolation from the rest of the squad.

“I think he’s fully recovered now; he’s running around, batting and bowling - and he’ll be there in the first Test to captain our side,” Tamim confirmed.

“We were not allowed to go anywhere near him. He was staying alone - only the guys who’d had chicken pox before were allowed to go and see him.”

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