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Since 1st March, 1999
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Hookes predicts one-day Tests
- ‘Steve’s men should grant no favours to no-hopers Bangla’

Sydney: Former Australian batsman David Hookes says Bangladesh don’t deserve to play Test cricket and has called on Steve Waugh’s world champions to humiliate them in the two-Test series beginning in Darwin on July 18.

Hookes said there is the potential for this month’s first-ever Tests in Darwin and Cairns to turn into one-day events and Australian cricket enthusiasts are anticipating a number of records to fall when the world’s best team takes on the worst.

“Steve should send them in to bat, bowl them out before lunch, bat until tea and declare, then send them back in and roll them again before stumps,” Hookes said Wednesday.

“It could be all over and done within a day. The reality is that Bangladesh do not deserve to be in Test cricket and they certainly should not be given any favours out on the field.

“If the Australian team is being true to the Test cap, their aim will be to go out there and annihilate Bangladesh.”

Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist has already revealed his side will show Bangladesh no mercy, setting the scene for what could be two of the shortest Test matches of all time — as long as Waugh does not elect to bat too long.

“Nobody wants to see Australia go out there and score a thousand runs,” said Hookes.

Never before in 126 years of Test cricket has there been a result on the first day, but here have been 17 instances of two-day drubbings.

The first was Australia’s seven-run win over England at The Oval in 1882 when Fred Spofforth took 14 wickets. The most recent was Australia’s victory by an innings and 198 runs against Pakistan in Sharjah last October, when Shane Warne took eight wickets and Matthew Hayden scored 119.

The lowest Test innings total is New Zealand’s 26, made against England in Auckland 1954-55. The highest is Sri Lanka’s 952 for six declared against India in Colombo in 1997 when Sanath Jayasuriya scored 340.

Some even claim that West Indian Brian Lara’s world record of 375 — made against England in Antigua in 1994 — will be under threat if Australia refuse to declare, as will Viv Richards’ record of the fastest Test century, off 56 balls.

Bangladesh have lost 18 of their 19 matches since gaining Test status in 2000, salvaging a draw against Zimbabwe two years ago when rain intervened.

Whatmore’s wish

Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore says his team can restore its battered reputation in the series against Australia. “We are here to make sure that we get on the right track and play the sort of cricket that world cricket demands Bangladesh play,” Whatmore said Wednesday.

“It’s no secret that performances with the team haven’t been as good as what anybody would like. We see this series, as hard as it’s going to be against a team ranked No. 1 as the commencement of something really wonderful for our cricket, the sub-continent area and world cricket as well.”

Bangladesh’s third and final warm-up game is a four-day match against a Northern Territory Chief Minister’s XI starting here Thursday. The first Test starts here on July 18.

Michael Clarke, who has played five ODIs, will captain the Northern Territory XI against Bangladesh.

“At 22 years of age just to be a part of the Australian cricket squad is great,” Clarke said.

“I’m not looking too far ahead. If something else comes of it I’ll be obviously very happy to represent my country again.”

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