Cricket World Cup: Which team will your shirt be on? A nation by nation guide to the Cricket World Cup - Bangladesh

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VERDICT: Since winning the ICC trophy to qualify for the finals they seem to have been marking time. At present, they embody the gap between the major nations and all the others. They can beat the rest but not the Test. In addition, they had a fairly wretched tour of Britain last year, undone by unfamiliar pitches and beaten by Scotland in a one-day series. Test status would seem to be premature, but there is no doubting their passion. They will not be short of support among Bangladeshi immigrants in this country but back home club matches are watched by crowds of up to 30,000. Progress will go no further than group B: beating Scotland represents their final (and they have won only one of 30 previous one- dayers since 1990), beating anybody else represents their dreams.

EMERGING HERO: At Dhaka on 25 March the 20-year-old Mehrab Hossain became the first batsman to score a century for Bangladesh. The right-handed opener is unlikely to repeat the feat in the World Cup but he could hardly have come to maturity - after only five appearances - with better timing.

ACHILLES' HEEL: The expectation of a nation. Supporters have overestimated the qualities of their side but so far they have simply been denied enough matches against better opposition.

HISTORICAL POINT: Azhar Hossain, Mehrab's uncle, scored the country's first half-century for against New Zealand, in Sharjah on 28 April 1990. Mind you, his 54 came after the Kiwis had scored 338 for 4.

SILLY POINT: Bangladesh will probably suffer from nerves because of the crowds. Chelmsford, where they start, can hold only 5,500 - about 25,000 fewer than they are accustomed to.

RECORD: First appearance.

SQUAD: Aminul Islam (capt), Shahriar Hossain, Mehrab Hossain, Khaled Mahmud, Faruk Ahmed, Akram Khan, Naimur Rahman, Khaled Mashud, Enamul Hoque, Mohammad Rafique, Neeyamur Rashid, Jahangir Alam, Manjural Islam, Shafiuddin Ahmed, Hasibul Hussain.

ODDS: 500-1.