Losing to Bangladesh not a 'shock', says England's Plunkett

08Jun 2019
The Guardian
Losing to Bangladesh not a 'shock', says England's Plunkett

BANGLADESH are no longer minnows and losing to them in the World Cup cannot be considered a ‘shock’ anymore, England fast bowler Liam Plunkett has said ahead of Saturday’s match in Cardiff between the two sides.

Bangladesh sprang an early surprise in the tournament by defeating South Africa on Sunday and the Asian side have also beaten England in World Cup matches in 2011 and 2015.

“We saw Bangladesh beat South Africa and it wasn’t a shock defeat,” Plunkett told a news conference. “I remember when they beat England way back when and it was a shock defeat.

“But there are no real shock defeats in this competition. They’re a strong squad.”

England won their first game comprehensively against South Africa but lost by 14 runs to Pakistan in the second and Plunkett said the sides from the sub-continent had a tendency to get under their skins.

“Pakistan are pretty good like that, they can get niggly,” Plunkett, 34, added. “Similarly Bangladesh and India are good at doing that. They are good at appealing quite a lot, it’s just the way they play their cricket.

“But we’ve played in big competitions... around the world at the Indian Premier League and (Australia’s) Big Bash in front of big crowds, so it shouldn’t be too much for the players.”

In another development, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has asked India’s Mahendra Singh Dhoni to remove an army insignia from his wicketkeeping gloves, forcing New Delhi to weigh in after a nationalistic furore in the country.

Dhoni, one of the game’s biggest stars, is an honorary lieutenant colonel in the territorial army and sported its dagger insignia on his gloves during India’s opening match against South Africa in the World Cup, hosted by England and Wales.

The ICC said its clothing and equipment rules allow only manufacturers’ logos on gloves, and that Dhoni or the Indian team had not sought any permission to sport the badge.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist government on Friday urged the country’s cricket board (BCCI) to sort out the matter.

“The government does not interfere in matters of sports bodies, they are autonomous,” Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said on Twitter.

“But when the issue is related to the country’s sentiments, then the interest of the nation has to be kept in mind. I urge the BCCI to take appropriate steps on the issue.”

The BCCI said it has already written to the world governing body for cricket seeking permission for Dhoni to sport the insignia.

The controversy has prompted passionate responses from both ruling and opposition politicians, Bollywood stars, as well as common citizens. #DhoniKeepTheGlove is the most trending hashtag on Twitter India.

Fawad Chaudhry, a federal minister in Pakistan, said Dhoni was in England to play cricket, not for any war.

In an unusually strong display of patriotic fervour in sport, Dhoni and his team members wore army camouflage-style caps in a one-day match against Australia in March to show their solidarity with Indian paramilitary police killed in a militant attack by a Pakistan-based group.

The team, led by Virat Kohli, also donated their earning from that match to the families of the defence personnel who died on duty. REUTERS

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