Hot reception for Vaughan after the rain

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The Independent Online

England's arrival for their inaugural Test tour of Bangladesh may not have been the biggest entry on the world sports agenda, but the excitement their presence has caused in local circles was illustrated by the frenzied welcome they received on arriving here.

Locals turned up in their hundreds to witness Michael Vaughan and his side emerge from the airport terminal, and they were also confronted by photographers and television crews to underline the importance of this tour.

Vaughan, who is on his first overseas tour as captain, was forced into an impromptu press conference at the airport after being mobbed by journalists, a warning that despite facing a Bangladesh side still searching for their first Test win in 24 attempts, the hopes and expectations will not be lacking in the two-Test series.

Preparations for the first Test, which begins in Dhaka on 21 October and follows two warm-up matches in the city, have been undermined by heavy rainfall.

That has forced the tourists to switch today's training session to the BKSP ground on the outskirts of the city, the base for Bangladesh's Academy and the venue for England's second warm-up match, because it is the only ground with indoor facilities.

But with a squad comprising five players ­ Martin Saggers, Paul Collingwood, Rikki Clarke, Gareth Batty and Geraint Jones ­ who are yet to feature at Test level, those early setbacks are unlikely to unsettle them.

Collingwood, the Durham all-rounder, is keen to make his mark having had his dreams of a Test call-up this summer shattered by a pre-season shoulder injury which sidelined him for four months.

"This is an important tour for a lot of people," Collingwood stressed. "I was able to watch a lot of the Tests against South Africa, and England played some fantastic cricket during that series, and it's up to us to continue that over the next few weeks. We will be imagining we are playing against the world's best and prepare in that way."

England are determined not to hide away in their hotel and will instead embrace the local culture. Trips have already been arranged, including one to a local orphanage.

"My first impression of Bangladesh is that there's a lot of water," Collingwood said. "I like coming to places with a different culture like this. I enjoyed India and it really opens your eyes ... and makes you appreciate how lucky you are."

* Rahul Dravid's 15th Test century put India in a commanding position on the opening day of the first Test against New Zealand in Ahmedabad. The unflappable Dravid struck 13 fours in his unbeaten 110 to guide the hosts to 249 for 3 at stumps.

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