Broad puts back problems to bed

England, leaving nothing to chance, have turned to soft beds for the hard battles ahead. It seemed there was nothing for it after their hotel in Chittagong, which looks veritably splendid, proved less than ideal in its sleeping provisions.

Stuart Broad, the leader of the team's fast-bowling attack, suffered a back spasm in the second one-day international last week and has been struggling since. He remains a doubt for the first Test against Bangladesh on Friday but is more optimistic after some ad hoc changes.

He said yesterday: "The beds in our hotel are incredibly hard, like someone has laid down a boundary board, and that hasn't exactly been the most enjoyable experience with my back until we got some foam put down.

"It was actually Matt Prior's idea. I'm in the connecting room and all I could hear was him moaning and the bed creaking with each turn. The next day some maintenance guy from the hotel walked in with a massive bit of foam and we cut it up so that we each had enough for our beds. Now a few of the other lads have followed suit."

Of course, bowlers and wicketkeepers must look after their backs to perform their functions properly and Broad was in severe discomfort. But in a city where millions of people have no beds, soft or hard, it may be slightly precious.

Broad and Graham Onions, who suffered something similar, seem to be moving more freely. But if they are fit, their lack of overs may still preclude their selection.

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