Bangladesh stars likely to be fit

Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh captain, and Tamim Iqbal, the opening batsman, are both expected to be fit for the first Test against England at Lord's tomorrow.

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Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh captain, and Tamim Iqbal, the opening batsman, are both expected to be fit for the first Test against England at Lord's tomorrow. Al Hasan has been unable to play since Bangladesh's opening tour match against Surrey because of chicken pox, while Iqbal is still struggling with a wrist injury which will require surgery after this series. Iqbal will have one last check before his participation is confirmed, but it seems he is prepared to play through the pain for a maiden appearance in a Lord's Test.

"It's getting better," he said. "I went to a specialist yesterday, and he said, 'you've got two choices. "Either you play with taping and hope there won't be any harm, or you can have a surgery that will take three months.' "We have a very busy schedule, so the team management told me to decide. I am seeing another doctor, and if it won't do any harm then I'll definitely play. "I'm very excited to play at Lord's in a Test match. It will be a dream come true. If everything goes all right, and the doctor gives me the green signal, then I'll play the first match - and if anything goes bad I'll go for surgery."

Iqbal, 21, is one of a majority in the touring squad who have never played in a Lord's Test - and he is not about to let the occasion pass him by. "I've pushed five per cent more than maybe I would have done on other grounds," he admitted. "I'm really excited and I really want to play. I don't know when I'll get another chance. Test cricket is the most important. I don't want to take any chances - but I'm batting OK in the nets, and the pain is day by day getting better. So it's all about what the doctor says."

Al Hasan is over his illness - having had to be kept in isolation from the rest of the squad. "I think he's fully recovered now; he's running around, batting and bowling - and he'll be there in the first Test to captain our side," Iqbal confirmed. * PA