The Emirates Cricket Board, led by opener Arshad Ali, embark on an eight day tour of Bangladesh this week which will go a long way to establish their credentials as a top Associate nation.

The tour, part of a reciprocal arrangement between the Bangladesh Cricket Board and ECB, consists of four one-day matches, with the UAE taking on particularly strong opposition. The first two matches are against a Bangladesh Academy team and the last two are against Bangladesh A who will undoubtedly feature some full internationals.

Bangladesh Cricket Board President Mohammad Ali Asghar MP, who is also the Chairman of the ACC Development Committee, said Bangladesh was delighted to host the ECB team. “Such exchanges on regular basis will go a long in raising the standards of teams. Our Academy team had a great time when the ECB hosted last year. There is no dearth of talent in Bangladesh and all we need is good exposure. All matches against the ECB team will be a good experience for our youngsters.”

Likewise, with the Emirates hosting fellow associate Bermuda as soon they return home, the ACC Champions at three-day and one-day cricket face a series of stern tests as they seek to qualify for the 2011 World Cup.

The tour marks one of the first major assignments for ECB coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, the former Sri Lankan Test and One Day player. Hathurusinghe formerly coached the Sri Lanka A team.

Filed January 23 2006