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Shakib Al Hasan wants Bangladesh to play more cricket overseas

Shakib Al Hasan © AFP
Shakib Al Hasan was one of the key performers for Bangladesh in the ICC World T20 2014 © AFP

Apr 2, 2014

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan feels his team needs to play more outside the country to reduce the pressure and expectations of the home cricket fans. After qualifying for the ICC World T20 2014 Super 10s on net run rate, Bangladesh were up against the big guns in Group 2.

They were drawn against India, Australia, Pakistan and the defending champions West Indies, and it was always going to be very difficult for them to make it out of the group stages. Eventually, they lost all their matches and finished last.

“People’s expectations, the journalists’ reporting, board’s pressure,” Shakib said told Prothom Alo when asked about reasons for the recent failures.

“Players get puzzled under these pressures. It becomes difficult to believe in ourselves. When a player thinks that he will get dropped by playing poorly, he stops thinking about the team and only thinks about his game. When four-five players are thinking like this, the rest follow. Coach, captain and players cannot function properly.

“It would be best to play outside the country. There should not be any cricket at home for two years. The expectations of home fans will go down, which will be very good. We should understand how much we expect from the team.

“When we will produce players of that level, there can be higher expectations. But we don’t have good players in the pipeline, neither is the domestic cricket of a good standard. Our practice facilities are not good and we don’t have a world-class coaching staff.”

Shakib’s performance was one of the reasons that Bangladesh could make it into the group stage. His performance against Hong Kong in a vital qualifying phase match, where he bagged three wickets for just nine runs in four overs and top scored with 34 runs, helped Bangladesh to make it through to the next round.

Even though they lost that match, their net run-rate was sufficient to send them through.

“I did quite well in the first three matches. I don’t know how people will take this, but I sometimes feel that had I not taken three wickets and scored 34 runs against Hong Kong, we wouldn’t be playing in the Super 10s.

“I wasn’t consistent, didn’t do well in two matches. It can happen in T20s. I am not the sort of bowler who can take five wickets. I was never this type of bowler, never have been and never will be. I am not a match-winning bowler like Saeed Ajmal or Sunil Narine. I can bowl a good over when the team needs but I cannot guarantee a wicket,” Shakib concluded.

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