‘Tigers should think about the final’
Since then, the Tigers have come up a long way, beating the likes of India, Pakistan, South Africa, England, Sri Lanka, New Zealand in the mean time to rise to No.6 in ICC ODI Rankings.
They also qualified for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 ahead of former world champions West Indies, and now they are in the semifinals of the tournament as well, this time ahead of the powerhouses like Australia and New Zealand.
Former Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar had led the Tigers when they last played the Champions Trophy, in 2006. He also believes in last few years, the Tigers have come a long way, said Bashar.
“The biggest achievement for us is that we are judging our performance in every tournament, trying to find out which one we did better in. We played the quarter finals in the 2015 World Cup and termed it our best performance. Now having qualified for the semis of the Champions Trophy, we are saying this is our best performance in an ICC event,” Bashar told Dhaka Tribune on Sunday.’
“This is the most significant thing for us. I am personally very happy and moved with Bangladesh’s achievement. This is good for Bangladesh cricket; we struggled and worked hard for good days like these,” said Bashar, now a member of the national selection panel.
As India beat South Africa on Sunday and are ahead in the race to become the champions from Group B, it is highly likely that the Tigers will once again get to play against India in a ICC event knock-out round. But Bashar believesshouldn’t matter who they will be playing in the last four, scheduled for Thursday at Edgbaston. Rather, he thinks they should go all-out for a place in the grand finale.
“It should not matter to us who we are playing against in the semi-final (either India or South Africa). We are just one match away from the final. I had said this before the tournament started that we are not going to the Champions Trophy for the sake of participating. We had gone with the target of playing the semi-final and give our best to play the final, if possible,” said Bashar.
“One thing which I would like the team to do in the semi-final is to repeat the team effort that they had shown against New Zealand. The bowlers had put up a good show and we had Shakib [al Hasan] and Mahmudullah step up with the bat when needed. But there is always room for improvement. I would particularly like to see the top-order batsmen contribute. None are getting scores except for Tamim [Iqbal]. But now that we are in the semis, I would expect those who are due to score runs for the team,” he added.
– Jannatul Naym Pieal, Correspondent, bdcrictime.com