‘Such wickets are enough to set our cricket back’

Several deliveries went below the knee cap during Bangladesh and Pakistan Women's Asia Cup match at the outer ground of the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on 3 September, 2022Shamsul Hoque

Even after completing a comprehensive nine-wicket win over hosts Bangladesh in their Women’s Asia Cup match, Pakistan captain Sidra Amin had criticised the low and slow wicket of the outer ground of the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.

On Tuesday, Bangladesh team head coach AKM Mahmud echoed the Pakistan captain, going on to say that playing on such pitches stagnate the team’s progression in Twenty20s.

Head coach AKM Mahmud speaks with skipper Nigar Sultana
Shamsul Hoque

“Just because we are playing in Bangladesh, we don’t want to take undue home advantage. For the betterment of women’s cricket, we need sporting wickets. From Zimbabwe to everywhere else, I’ve seen sporting wickets being used in women’s cricket,” Mahmud said during a press conference at the SICS.

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“As I am from Sylhet I can tell you, we don’t get such poor wickets even in domestic cricket. We have matches lined up in our FTP (Future Tours Programme). We will play a World Cup in South Africa. (Such wickets) are enough to put us on the back foot in terms of preparation and mental fortitude,” he added.

Salma Khatun took the lone Pakistan wicket to fall in the match
Shamsul Hoque

Mahmud, who worked as a Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) appointed coach in the Sylhet division before becoming the women’s team’s head coach, said in such wickets the toss decides the outcome of the game.

“I want to say this in clear terms, the way the pitch was behaving, it felt that the fate of the match was decided right after the toss.

“Our manager included the team’s issues with the pitch in the umpire’s report. We have spoken with involved personnel about the wicket. They have also assured us,” Mahmud added.

Mahmud further said that the Bangladesh team management also expressed their dissatisfaction with the pitch to the Asian Cricket Council (ACC).