After a majority of 2020 came and went without much action on the field due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Bangladesh women's cricket team is bracing for a busy 2021, which is set to feature some competitive cricket.
The women's national team last took the field on March 2, 2020 during the Tigresses' poor display in the ICC Women's Twenty20 World Cup in Australia. They went on to lose all the four group-stage matches in that tournament, which was also the last major ICC event before the pandemic brought the world to a standstill.
The women's team is slated to take part in the 2021 ICC Women's World Cup qualifiers in Sri Lanka from June 26 to July 10 and have already completed a month-long training programme. They are now engaged in a skills camp in Mirpur ahead of the upcoming Bangladesh Games, slated to begin on March 6.
The national team, under-19 and emerging team will take part in the upcoming Bangladesh Games and after that, the South Africa Emerging women's team are expected to arrive for a five-match one-day series in late March.
"We are undergoing a two-week training camp here in Sylhet, where we are working on the skills department. The girls are working really hard. We are also focusing on fitness in this camp. We have done a month-long camp in Sylhet earlier this year and also played nine matches," women's national team assistant coach Foysal Hossain told The Daily Star.
According to aspiring top-order batter Eka Mollick, the skills camp was paying dividends to the cricketers but they were looking forward to competitive cricket.
"We must thank the board for arranging such camps frequently. There was a huge gap during the coronavirus outbreak and we got frustrated at one point. But now we are busy working on our skills as well as our fitness. We did play few matches among ourselves but we are really looking forward to playing some competitive cricket soon," said Eka.
However, the post of head coach for the national women's team has remained vacant since Anju Jain left the post in June last year to join a local Indian team.
BCB women's wing manager Towhid Mahmood informed that the board had published a circular seeking head coaches and they had a found some interested applicants.
"We have given a circular for the head coach post and we have already received a few applications. The board is looking into the matter and I hope we will be able to have our new foreign head coach for the national women's team before the upcoming series against South Africa," Towhid said.