Lancashire will face an exuberant Bangladesh A side intent on impressing as they look to further their international careers at the highest level in a 50-over friendly at Emirates Old Trafford on Sunday, according to their former assistant coach Jason Swift.
The majority of the 15-man squad, which faces a three-match one-day series against the England Lions later this month, are fully fledged internationals, either at one-day or Test level, although they are not sure of their places like players such as Shakib-Al-Hasan or Tamim Iqbal, who have not travelled.
Instead, they are youngsters with plenty of promise who are preparing themselves for the rigours of the 2013/4 international season.
For example, nine of the eleven fielded in their seven-run defeat against Yorkshire at Headingley on Friday have played international cricket. They are captained by top order batsman Jahurul Islam, aged 26, who has played seven Tests, 14 one-day and three Twenty20 internationals.
“I think they’ll be full of enthusiasm and looking to impress,” said Australian Swift, who left his job as analyst-cum-fielding coach with Lancashire in 2011 to become the Bangladesh senior team’s assistant coach, a job he left inside the last 12 months.
“Obviously they’ll love the opportunity of coming to England and playing in these conditions. I’d imagine you’ll see a very enthusiastic team who are very strong in the spin department with the likes of Elias Sunny and Sohag Gazi. Sunny took 3-25 from 10 overs against the Vikings.
“They’ve got some experience as far as their batting is concerned, and Robiul Islam (fast bowler) has shown some good form against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka in their most recent Test series. They are playing against a very good outfit in Lancashire. I think it will be a contest.”
One player Swift believes we should keep an eye on is left-arm spinner Elias Sunny, who has played four Test matches, including a debut six-for against the West Indies at Chittagong in October 2011. He took 3-25 against the Vikings yesterday.
Swift was in the early stages of his role with the Bangladeshis then, and said: “It was in conditions that suited, but you’ve still got to bowl well - and he did. He had very good rhythm. He’s just one of those people who is a natural spinner. He gets good revs and gets up and over the top of the ball.
“He couldn’t have done much better. I think he got Chanderpaul out as one of those six, which is no easy feat. He bowled beautifully. It’s probably a bit frustrating for him that’s he not become a regular in the side.”
Swift is back on English soil. And having done some individual coaching sessions and played some league cricket with Farnworth in the Bolton League, he has taken up a similar role to what he had at Lancashire with Sussex until the end of the season. He even scored 72 and claimed the man-of-the-match in a Hamer Cup Final success earlier this week.
Lancashire have a 13-man squad for the game led by Steven Croft.
Squad: Steven Croft (capt), Stephen Moore, Alex Davies (wkt), Paul Horton, Andrea Agathangelou, Luis Reece, Jordan Clark, Luke Procter, Wayne White, Kyle Hogg, Arron Lilley, Oliver Newby, Adnan Ghaus.
Picture (c) Simon Pendrigh