Bangladesh defends monsoon Tests decision

DHAKA: Bangladesh´s cricket chiefs on Monday defended the decision to host South Africa´s Test series in the monsoon months of July and August, saying no other dates were available.


The two-Test series ended in an inevitable 0-0 draw after the last two days of the first match in Chittagong were washed out and four out of five days´ play in the second game in Dhaka were lost to bad weather.

South African captain Hashim Amla said he was frustrated at being part of what he called a “bizarre” series.

“This is one of the most bizarre Test series I have been involved in,” the usually unflappable Amla said. “I don´t think I have played a series where out of 10 days, six days have been rained off.”

The monsoon season, which usually starts in mid-June, accounts for 80 per cent of the country´s annual rainfall.

A one-off Test against India in Chittagong in June was also abandoned after rain washed out nearly nine of the 15 sessions of play.

Bangladesh Cricket Board CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said the tight international schedule of both India and South Africa forced his board to hold Test series for the first time during the monsoons.

Bangladesh´s Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim appealed to teams to visit his country between October and May.

“We always want to play the big teams during our cricket season,” he said. “But they are usually busy then.

“The more we play them, the more we will learn.”

Fans will be relieved that Australia´s two Test matches in Bangladesh this year will be held in relatively rain-free October.

The two washed-out Tests against South Africa meant a revision in points that determine official rankings, although the rankings themselves remained unchanged.

Top-ranked South Africa dropped five points, closing the gap with other contenders. Bangladesh gained six points but continued to languish in ninth place, just above Zimbabwe.

Luckily, the weather did not have the final say in the one-day series, where Bangladesh defeated both India and South Africa by 2-1 margins to enhance their growing reputation in the shorter formats. (AFP)