Also on cricketcountry.com
March 10, 2014
Bangladesh who were knocked out in the group stages of the Asia Cup 2014 have a reason to celebrate as they will be hosting the ICC World Twenty 20 in March which will allow them to take another shot at the much needed glory that they so desperately need.
The Tigers will be led by Miushfiqur Rahim during the annual marquee tournament and they will be more than keen to set aside a losing streak of seven straight One-Day International matches which started off with the series against Sri Lanka in February, reports the daily star.
Mushfiqur was optimistic about his side’s chances in the tournament and had this to say: “Although the results did not go our way, the process is in our hands and we are working on that. We are working hard and I hope that we can have a fresh start from the World Cup.”
“We are all excited. We want to show that we can take a completely different challenge altogether. Hopefully we can stop the tears and make Bangladeshis smile with our performance ,” added Mushfiqur.
Also the fact that Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi had made a statement which read as “The Bangladeshis will be under pressure” during the Asia Cup, which may spur Mushfiqurs men and help them extract revenge in the ultra-short format of the game.
“Our first target will be to defeat Afghanistan and ensure our qualification to the next round. I am sure the Afghans will be under pressure as well, playing in such a huge tournament. And as for us, we will try to take our revenge,” said Mushfiqur.
“I think we are ahead of them in all aspects, but in a T20 game, anything can happen on the day. Also they did not face a team with some of our strong players — Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and Mashrafe Bin Mortaza — in it. The challenge for us will be to remain calm and execute our plans under pressure ,” added Mushfiqur.
Apart from revenge the Tigers also have a host of injury worries on their minds with key players like Mortaza and Shohag Gazi sweating over fitness issues.
Though Mashrafe looks set to recover from his injury as he bowled five full overs during a training session on Sunday, still Shohag’s inclusion looks a bit dicey despite his stitches being removed from his hand and him being able to participate in a full-length practice session.
Even Mushfiqur has a few injury worries of his own as he hurt his finger in the series against Sri Lanka and though not a serious issue will still try to gear up for the tournament by keeping wickets during the team’s practice session on Monday.
But Bangladesh’s record in T20 World Cup tournaments does not show a rosy picture as the Tigers have won only a solitary game against the West Indies in the 2007 edition and will be keen to put aside that blemished record.
“Yes we have not played that consistently, but a reason behind that is that we have not played too many T20 games and that’s why it’s a bit difficult. The good part though is that in the last few months we played a few home tournaments and our players performed there,” said Mushfiqur.
“We may be down mentally, but this is not the first time that we are going through such a phase. The mental strength that we have now may not be a lot, but hopefully things will change with the start of the World Cup,” concluded Mushfiqur.
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