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Curtis Campher on Bangladesh, the BPL and Test cricket

Curtis Campher on Bangladesh, the BPL and Test cricket
Curtis Campher on Bangladesh, the BPL and Test cricket

The Ireland Men’s squad has completed its first training session in Sylhet since arriving in Bangladesh, and all-rounder Curtis Campher is looking forward to the seven-match, multi-format tour – with an eye on a potential Test debut on the horizon.

Campher, 23, made his international debut for Ireland in 2020 and has played 19 ODIs and 31 T20Is in that time – including two T20 World Cup appearances. He has scored 915 runs and taken 35 wickets across the two formats – and while his focus is on the next set of white-ball matches, he admits to thinking ahead to a potential Test debut.

Recently, Campher took part in the Bangladesh Premier League with Chattogram Challengers and believes that experience will be of benefit to him when Ireland and Bangladesh meet in Sylhet on Saturday.

Speaking after a first training session since arriving in the country, he said:

“I think when you’re travelling this distance you try to get over the jet lag as quickly as possible. You try to implement a few things and try not to have naps. All in all travel was pretty good. It’s always great to get a nice little run around, play a bit of football with the lads, and have a light hit. It was a good day to try and get acclimatised, get used to the sun, and the heat and the humidity and to get out of the hotel, of course.”

Campher, along with captain Andrew Balbirnie, spent some time in Bangladesh this winter playing in the BPL. So has that experience taught him much heading into this tour?

“The Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) experience definitely helped me coming back to Sylhet, having played here before. We’ve got a warm-up game during the day, which is a little bit different. I’ve only played day-nighters here, but I think the One-Day internationals will be day-nighters, so that’ll be good preparation. I’ve really enjoyed the BPL. It was really good for me on a personal level because I got to experience the crowd, the wickets, and how the surface reacted a bit differently.

“Speaking about surfaces and how the conditions should play, I think watching a bit of the England series, the ball is really turning quite sharply, so we do expect it to turn quite a bit. However, in saying that It’s been a good batting track. Even after today’s nets, the wickets played really nicely so I think it’s going to be a hard for both batters and bowlers with the conditions as it should be really warm, but we’re really looking forward to getting going.”

Asked about the prospect of playing in his first Test match, he said:

“If selected to play in the Test match, that would be one of the highlights of my cricket career. Obviously Test Cricket is the highest and purest form of the game, and thankfully a lot of people share the same opinion. It’s something that would be amazing to do. It’s not an easy place to play Test cricket, but I think that’s what you want. You want to test yourself. Test cricket is the hardest format and it’s going to be really tough out here. They’ve got a great record at home. To be a part of it would be amazing for me. And hopefully, we can maybe get the first Test win for Ireland.”