• Amla calls Test series ‘bizarre’

    The reason South Africa toured Bangladesh during the monsoon months of July and August was because there were no other dates 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,’ 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 percent of the country’s annual rainfall.

    Last year the Bangladesh Meteorological Department recorded over 45 000 millimetres (1 771 inches) of rain across the country from June to August.

    Unfortunately, the Dhaka Test also coincided with cyclonic storm Komen in the Bay of Bengal, which made landfall on the country’s east coast on Friday and brought heavy rain.

    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.

    ‘This was the only available slot we got from the South African board,’ Chowdhury told AFP. ‘We had communicated to them the rain factor. But there was no alternative.

    ‘If we did not host them now, we would have had to wait till 2023.’

    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.┬áThe more we play them, the more we will learn.’

    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.

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