It's a known scenario -- the cricketers start the first day of the fitness camp in a cheerful mood. But at the end of the day, they find it difficult to smile. Monday was no different for the Bangladesh cricket team, with the trainer being unhappy with the players' fitness level.
The Tigers' last conditioning camp was in October, before the home series against Zimbabwe. Eight months later, it is another camp, but Mario Villavarayan was not a happy man. "We have been playing matches continuously since last October. I am not satisfied at their fitness level. We need to work on this. There has not been any fitness camp in the last eight months. Still their condition it not the worst," said the Sri Lankan.
Jahurul Islam, who has been recalled to the national tent after quite some time, and pacer Abu Jayed, were the best among his peers today, scoring 12.3 in the blip test.
Farhad Reza, who played for the Tigers for the last time five years back, came close, with 12.2.
The other players, who have mostly played for the team regularly, scored 10-11 on an average.
Mario did not want to single out individuals. But he said, "One has to know where he lacks, if it is running, skill or strength. Some of the players really need to work on their fitness while some just need to improve a little," he said.
Experts hold lack of fitness responsible for the Tigers' shambolic fielding in the recent games and BCB have taken the issue seriously.
"This camp is a four-day affair, which may not be enough. A conditioning camp should be of five-six weeks. Since we cannot afford that much of a time, the players need to work on their fitness everyday, besides their practice and games," Mario added.