Defending champions Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers will tackle a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI as part of their preparation for this summer’s KFC Twenty20 Big Bash League.
The Sixers will meet the BCB XI December 14 at North Sydney Oval, with the fixture against the Thunder to be staged two days later at Spotless Stadium.
The games will act as warm-up matches for Bangladesh ahead of their month-long tour of New Zealand, which will comprise five one-day internationals and two Test matches.
Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha, who previously coached New South Wales and the Thunder, said competing against some of Australia’s best short-form players would be a valuable opportunity for his group.
“We’ll get a lot out of it, playing in different conditions against teams in Australia,” Hathurusingha said.
“With the Thunder I thought it was a good way to see how these guys measured up against the champions as it’ll give us a lot of confidence if we do well.
“And playing a BBL team like Sixers gives Bangladesh players greater exposure and confidence. North Sydney Oval is a great place to play cricket for players and for spectators to watch cricket.
“We are grateful for the opportunity.”
Bangladesh will be based at Blacktown International Sports Park (BISP) during their stay and Hathurusingha said that would also help them acclimatise to similar conditions in New Zealand.
The Tigers kick off their NZ tour with an ODI in Christchurch on December 26.
They will be looking to build on recent good performances after pushing England all the way in a 22-run loss in the first Test in Chittagong.
Bangladesh is ninth in the ICC Test rankings and seventh in the ODI rankings.
“The main purpose of having this camp in Sydney on our way to New Zealand is getting used to conditions closer to what we’re expecting in New Zealand, which we can't create back in Bangladesh,” Hathurusingha said.
“We were impressed with the facility at BISP provided to us during the World Cup in 2015 and that is the reason we choose BISP as well.”
Former Sydney Thunder captain and director of cricket Michael Hussey said the practice game would provide perfect preparation.
“Our focus ahead of BBL|06 has been to play competitive games against high-quality opposition,” Hussey said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how we match up against some very exciting international stars.
“Getting to play at Spotless Stadium will provide valuable practice four days ahead of the season.”
Sydney Sixers General Manager Dom Remond said the club was expecting a big turnout at North Sydney Oval.
“The local Bangladesh community will have the opportunity to see the national heroes against the full Sixers squad up close and personal,” Redmond said.
“Playing under lights will add another element to the contest and with a very affordable ticket price of $10 for adults and free for kids under 16, we are expecting a capacity crowd.”
Members of the Sixers and Thunder will get free entry to their club's relevant match.
Tickets for the Thunder’s match at Spotless Stadium are available at ticketmaster.com.au/sydneythunder