Bangladesh have been a force to reckon with at home for some time now and captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza believes the test of their grit will begin when they tour New Zealand later this year. Captaining the Tigers for nearly two years now, Mashrafe is yet to lead the team abroad in a bilateral series.

In these two years, Bangladesh have only visited Australia in 2015 for the World Cup and India earlier this year for the World Twenty20. Mashrafe and his men will travel to New Zealand for a complete tour in December. They will then go to India for a Test in February next year before visiting Sri Lanka in March.

The Tigers will also fly to Ireland for a tri-series later in May before the Champions Trophy kicks off in June in England. Their six series-winning streak came to an end against England at the Zahur Ahmed Stadium in Chittagong on Wednesday. A four-wicket defeat to the English Lions saw the home team sink to a 2-1 series defeat.

Pleased with his team’s performance at home over the last two years, Mashrafe is not all too worried about the spell coming to an end. Rather he is keenly looking forward to the next challenge. “Our real challenge begins in New Zealand. We have a 90 percent success rate at home, which would’ve been 100 if we had won today,” Mashrafe said after the match.

Mashrafe said it would be ‘tiring’ to think of all the forthcoming series, so he wanted to focus on just New Zealand for now. Bangladesh and England will now gear up for two Tests – one in Chittagong and the other in Dhaka.

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