Jamie Siddons, right, the Bangladesh coach, gives some batting advice to Junaid Siddique during a practice session.
Jamie Siddons, right, the Bangladesh coach, gives some batting advice to Junaid Siddique during a practice session.

Young Tigers are hungry for more big-time success

Jamie Siddons would seem to be an optimist of the "glass half-full" variety. And he needs to be as head coach of the Bangladesh cricket team. Siddons arrived in Bangladesh in October 2007 from an Australia academy system that was accustomed to producing winners and world-class players. Now, guiding a team with just three victories in Test matches, the smallest of comforts mean a lot. They have pushed teams close on occasions, even the best sides like Australia, but rarely do they finish on top.

"When you come into a job like mine you want to win cricket matches," he said. "[But] we are ninth [and last] in the [Test] world so there are eight teams better than us. "They don't want to let us win but unlike earlier times they now bring their best game when they play us. But we do need to start winning games and to do that we need to play great cricket." Bangladesh have the daunting yet exciting challenge of a Lord's Test starting tomorrow against England, the newly crowned World Twenty20 champions, in the first game of a two-match series.

England have already announced they will be missing two key players in Paul Collingwood, out with a shoulder injury, and Stuart Broad, who is being rested. This is a series where more established Test teams traditionally believe they can omit top players and still win, as England did in Bangladesh in March when Andrew Strauss, the captain, and James Anderson, their best fast bowler, did not tour. An early season Test in England is a tough prospect for most teams but more so for Bangladesh, who are still battling just to compete since joining the top tier of world cricket a decade ago.

But Siddons detects progress. Defeats are becoming less severe, and the nucleus of world-class talent in the Bangladesh ranks keeps him positive and hopeful of a brighter future. "I am excited by the development. Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and [Mahmudullah] Riyad have all made hundreds in Test cricket, while Imrul Kayes has made a one-day hundred and is becoming more consistent," he said.

"They are all capable but the question remains whether they can put it all together and make big scores as a team. It's up to me to give them the confidence to go and do it day in and day out, like an England or an Australia." He added: "It's obvious we're still losing, we have not won a game now for six months, but we have played the top three or four teams in the world. I don't expect us to beat them every day but I do expect us to compete and now we are pushing teams.

"They are having to play their best cricket to beat us. England found that out earlier this year. We had them on the ropes a couple of times and if some things had gone our way we might have had a win or two." So what is it that keeps Siddons and the Bangladesh players smiling and confident of the next match bringing a more positive result? It may be stating the obvious but constant defeats usually lead to poor morale and eventually the dismissal of key figures like the captain, selectors, and more often than not the coach.

But this team cannot be judged like any other. The slightest improvement or development of a new star is seen as a victory in this team's circle. When Al Hasan soared to No 1 in the ICC's one-day world rankings for all-rounders, the whole country felt his success. Now he is the captain and set to become the first Bangladesh overseas player in English county cricket from July, when he will play for Worcestershire. These are the signs of progress that Siddons can savour.

"[When I started this job] I made a pact with myself and the team that my role was to produce world-class players," he said. "Tamim would definitely find a way into a lot of teams and so would Shakib as an all-rounder. "That is the way forward. If we worried about the win-loss ratio our boys would be deflated so they know they need to keep playing at their best to win games. The fact we now have three or four world-class players shows we have made great strides."

Despite the progress, Siddons readily acknowledges that even the current crop of burgeoning stars may not be enough to lift the country's results in the short term. "There is no way in world cricket you can suddenly get up to the middle of the pack or even begin to dream of reaching the top. To get there our players need to be even better than Tamim and Shakib. "It's probably a dream to think we are going to develop this group enough to reach those heights. Our infrastructure and quality of club cricket is paramount to ensure that future players become good enough to progress to those standards."

It is a tribute to Siddons that he has adjusted his style of coaching and leadership accordingly. He realised that operating with a win at all costs attitude may be the Australian way, but would not have been so effective for the Bangladesh team. Siddons, a former batsman who played a single one-day international in 1988 and may have played more had he not been up against greats like Allan Border and the Waugh twins, Mark and Steve, for a spot in the side, knows not to bring the Aussie method into the Bangladesh dressing room.

"I haven't really taken things down that path," he said. "I've been around enough players to know the techniques and work required to be a world-class player. I also know techniques that mean you won't be successful. "My job is to teach the players those skills and make sure they are ingrained so when I throw them out there against England they are not embarrassed, not frightened, not overawed at all and I think we are getting there.

"It has taken a while because we've had to come from a long way back. So that's the Australian aspect I am bringing, not the dressing room stuff because it's hard to pump them all up and send them out with confidence if they haven't got the skills behind them. I work hard on the technical side and with that I give them confidence." Whatever results lie ahead in England, one thing is certain: the players will savour the occasion and have the chance to see their names inscribed on the historic Lord's honours board on the dressing room wall hanging in the famous old pavilion. "It's an exciting tour and surprising in one sense," Siddons said. "When we toured Australia we got sent to Darwin, when we come here we go to Lord's!" @Email:sports@thenational.ae

1999 Bangladesh pulled off a shock win over Pakistan, the eventual tournament runners-up, in the 1999 World Cup in England. The Pakistan side was full of big names like Wasim Akram, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Saeed Anwar, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar, yet the minnows won at Northampton by 62 runs. 2005 The five-wicket one-day win over Australia, the world champions, at Cardiff in 2005 remains one of the greatest shocks in recent cricket history. The Tigers chased 250 and won, inspired by a magnificent 100 from 101 balls by Mohammad Ashraful (left), then aged 20. 2005 The country's first Test win came in January of that year. It was against a weakened Zimbabwe team, but a Test win nonetheless, which gave the cricket-crazy nation a huge milestone and plenty to cheer about. Zimbabwe chased 381 in the fourth innings but were bowled out for 154.

'Cheb Khaled'

Artist: Khaled
Label: Believe
Rating: 4/5


This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

Haircare resolutions 2021

From Beirut and Amman to London and now Dubai, hairstylist George Massoud has seen the same mistakes made by customers all over the world. In the chair or at-home hair care, here are the resolutions he wishes his customers would make for the year ahead.

1. 'I will seek consultation from professionals'

You may know what you want, but are you sure it’s going to suit you? Haircare professionals can tell you what will work best with your skin tone, hair texture and lifestyle.

2. 'I will tell my hairdresser when I’m not happy'

Massoud says it’s better to offer constructive criticism to work on in the future. Your hairdresser will learn, and you may discover how to communicate exactly what you want more effectively the next time.

3. ‘I will treat my hair better out of the chair’

Damage control is a big part of most hairstylists’ work right now, but it can be avoided. Steer clear of over-colouring at home, try and pursue one hair brand at a time and never, ever use a straightener on still drying hair, pleads Massoud.


Director: Lee Isaac Chung

Starring: Glenn Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos

Rating: 2.5/5

The five pillars of Islam
Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

Zodi & Tehu: Princes Of The Desert

Director: Eric Barbier

Starring: Youssef Hajdi, Nadia Benzakour, Yasser Drief

Rating: 4/5


5pm: Handicap (TB) Dh100,000, 2,400m
Winner: Recordman, Richard Mullen (jockey), Satish Seemar (trainer)

5.30pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh 70,000, 2,200m​​​​​​​
Winner: AF Taraha, Tadhg O’Shea, Ernst Oertel

6pm: Abu Dhabi Fillies Classic Prestige (PA) Dh110,000, 1,400m​​​​​​​
Winner: Dhafra, Fabrice Veron, Eric Lemartinel

6.30pm: Abu Dhabi Colts Classic Prestige (PA) Dh110,000, 1,400m​​​​​​​
Winner: Maqam, Fabrice Veron, Eric Lemartinel

7pm: Handicap (PA) Dh85,000, 1,600m​​​​​​​
Winner: AF Momtaz, Fernando Jara, Musabah Al Muhairi

7.30pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000, 1,600m​​​​​​​
Winner: Optimizm, Patrick Cosgrave, Abdallah Al Hammadi

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre, twin-turbo V8

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 582bhp

Torque: 730Nm

Price: Dh649,000

On sale: now 

Important questions to consider

1. Where on the plane does my pet travel?

There are different types of travel available for pets:

  • Manifest cargo
  • Excess luggage in the hold
  • Excess luggage in the cabin

Each option is safe. The feasibility of each option is based on the size and breed of your pet, the airline they are traveling on and country they are travelling to.


2. What is the difference between my pet traveling as manifest cargo or as excess luggage?

If traveling as manifest cargo, your pet is traveling in the front hold of the plane and can travel with or without you being on the same plane. The cost of your pets travel is based on volumetric weight, in other words, the size of their travel crate.

If traveling as excess luggage, your pet will be in the rear hold of the plane and must be traveling under the ticket of a human passenger. The cost of your pets travel is based on the actual (combined) weight of your pet in their crate.


3. What happens when my pet arrives in the country they are traveling to?

As soon as the flight arrives, your pet will be taken from the plane straight to the airport terminal.

If your pet is traveling as excess luggage, they will taken to the oversized luggage area in the arrival hall. Once you clear passport control, you will be able to collect them at the same time as your normal luggage. As you exit the airport via the ‘something to declare’ customs channel you will be asked to present your pets travel paperwork to the customs official and / or the vet on duty. 

If your pet is traveling as manifest cargo, they will be taken to the Animal Reception Centre. There, their documentation will be reviewed by the staff of the ARC to ensure all is in order. At the same time, relevant customs formalities will be completed by staff based at the arriving airport. 


4. How long does the travel paperwork and other travel preparations take?

This depends entirely on the location that your pet is traveling to. Your pet relocation compnay will provide you with an accurate timeline of how long the relevant preparations will take and at what point in the process the various steps must be taken.

In some cases they can get your pet ‘travel ready’ in a few days. In others it can be up to six months or more.


5. What vaccinations does my pet need to travel?

Regardless of where your pet is traveling, they will need certain vaccinations. The exact vaccinations they need are entirely dependent on the location they are traveling to. The one vaccination that is mandatory for every country your pet may travel to is a rabies vaccination.

Other vaccinations may also be necessary. These will be advised to you as relevant. In every situation, it is essential to keep your vaccinations current and to not miss a due date, even by one day. To do so could severely hinder your pets travel plans.

Source: Pawsome Pets UAE


Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

'The Lost Daughter'

Director: Maggie Gyllenhaal

Starring: Olivia Colman, Jessie Buckley, Dakota Johnson

Rating: 4/5

Politics in the West
The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

Voy! Voy! Voy!

Director: Omar Hilal
Stars: Muhammad Farrag, Bayoumi Fouad, Nelly Karim
Rating: 4/5

The Africa Institute 101

Housed on the same site as the original Africa Hall, which first hosted an Arab-African Symposium in 1976, the newly renovated building will be home to a think tank and postgraduate studies hub (it will offer master’s and PhD programmes). The centre will focus on both the historical and contemporary links between Africa and the Gulf, and will serve as a meeting place for conferences, symposia, lectures, film screenings, plays, musical performances and more. In fact, today it is hosting a symposium – 5-plus-1: Rethinking Abstraction that will look at the six decades of Frank Bowling’s career, as well as those of his contemporaries that invested social, cultural and personal meaning into abstraction. 

'Worse than a prison sentence'

Marie Byrne, a counsellor who volunteers at the UAE government's mental health crisis helpline, said the ordeal the crew had been through would take time to overcome.

“It was worse than a prison sentence, where at least someone can deal with a set amount of time incarcerated," she said.

“They were living in perpetual mystery as to how their futures would pan out, and what that would be.

“Because of coronavirus, the world is very different now to the one they left, that will also have an impact.

“It will not fully register until they are on dry land. Some have not seen their young children grow up while others will have to rebuild relationships.

“It will be a challenge mentally, and to find other work to support their families as they have been out of circulation for so long. Hopefully they will get the care they need when they get home.”


The flights 
Fly Etihad or Emirates from the UAE to Moscow from 2,763 return per person return including taxes. 
Where to stay 
Trips on the Golden Eagle Trans-Siberian cost from US$16,995 (Dh62,414) per person, based on two sharing.

Bournemouth 0

Manchester United 2
Smalling (28'), Lukaku (70')


Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5


Keep up with all the Middle East and North Africa athletes at the 2024 Paris Olympics

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