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Gilchrist defends series against Bangladesh

June 25, 2003 19:38 IST

Adam Gilchrist has defended Bangladesh's right to play Australia in Test and one-day international cricket despite the prospects of an embarrassing mis-match.

The series, which gets underway next month, has been criticised by former Test fast bowler Dennis Lillee who wants struggling nations like Bangladesh to play in a second-tier competition before locking horns with the likes of Australia.

But Gilchrist, who won an award for his good sportsmanship at the World Cup which Australia won, said he was happy to play the Bangladeshis.

"There's no doubt they'll benefit from the experience, whether it's an absolute thrashing or if they really surprise everyone and do well," Gilchrist told reporters on Wednesday.

"Win, lose or draw, it will be a lesson for them, a step forward for them to play against what's perceived to be the best team in the world."

Despite supporting the Bangladeshis, Gilchrist said the Australians would not show them any mercy in the two Tests and three one-dayers.

"People will look at the series and say that it's going to be a write-off, that we're going to go out there and not only win but smash them," Gilchrist said.

"Hopefully, if we play well, we'll achieve that because that will mean we're still playing to our level."

Bangladesh are ranked last in the International Cricket Council's 10-nation Test championship and have lost 18 of their 19 matches since gaining Test status in 2000.

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