Friday, June 14, 2024

Impossible is nothing

Mushfiqur Rahim’s men introduced a new Bangladesh to world cricket by reaching the final of the Asia Cup after beating Sri Lanka in the must-win game at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Bangladesh beat a team like India and South Africa to book their place in the second round of the 2007 World Cup in West Indies and they had a tremendous 4-0 success against New Zealand at home but nothing could be compared with their success last night which took them to a new height because it’s the first time in their history that they showed such consistency in their performance.
One can easily say that it’s a beginning of a new era for Bangladesh cricket. Without any doubt, Bangladesh played as a true unit because one could not single out 2-3 players behind the success but rather a number of players came to show their characteristics, which is something new for Bangladesh cricket. Still one will not argue if someone says that Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal are the torchbearers of the brave new era. It was their brilliant partnership that shaped the 5-wicket victory apart from the magnificent finishing touches from Nasir Hossain and Mahmudullah Riyad.
The two brave cricketers appeared in the post-match briefing where they expressed their emotions and explained the reasons behind the success. Tamim cut a cake after the press conference to celebrate this historic moment and his 23rd birthday.
Nasir Hossain screamed in delight after hitting the winning shot, Shakib was the first to run out of the dressing room and the team were taking a lap of honour of the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium waving the country’s flags amidst deafening chants of “Bangladesh, Bangladesh”.
Believe it or not it was Shakib who could not find the right way how to celebrate this huge moment and that’s the reason he took a green-and-red party hat from a fan and put it on his head.
But just take the words from the all-rounder to understand why it’s called a new era of Bangladesh cricket. “We know that nothing is impossible and the way we are playing we will do well in the final. If we win in the final, it will be the best moment of my career. Everything is for the team, sacrificing for whom is not a matter,” was the comment from Shakib that provided a glimpse into the future of Bangladesh cricket.
And Tamim almost echoed the same sentiment by saying: “It’s a great achievement for the country, so far the biggest. We realise it’s still not over, we have another very important game. We’ll enjoy tonight, we’ll party but tomorrow we’ll be back to business. I hope we will fire on the 22nd.”
So you can understand that these boys are here not to satisfy with only one achievement rather they have the big picture in their mind. It was still however impossible for Shakib to check his emotions after such a great success.
“A member of the crowd gave it (the long hat) to me. I can’t understand what my feelings are. Of course when I talk to the teammates I will realise what this is. I am very excited, very happy because we don’t usually achieve such things. I am happy to be part of this team.
“When I went in after getting dismissed, Mushfiq (Mushfiqur Rahim) asked me what will happen. I said I don’t know. But after 10-15 runs, I knew that it would happen today. Nasir’s performance was vital, has been doing his job very well. Riyad was due for runs and he did so well. Their partnership was the turning point of the match,” continued Shakib.
Man-of-the-match Shakib also believes that this success will change Bangladesh cricket.
“We never played well in the Asia Cup so it is really big. We beat the current world champions and runners-up, which is a huge achievement for us. It gives us a lot of confidence and teaches us a lot of things. This change will take us a long way,” he observed.
Regarding the revised target Shakib said: “Oh we thought its 100 in 20 overs, 112 in 20 overs. Honestly, I think when we talk in the dressing room its like, 100 runs in 20 overs is nothing. This is the sort of confidence that we have now. Cricket is a mental game so this confidence is very important. If a player goes down the wicket and thinks he’ll get stumped, he will. If he thinks he will hit a six, he’ll be successful most times,” said Shakib praising the contribution of pacer Nazmul Hossain and Nasir Hossain highly.
The all-rounder also admitted that they never thought that Bangladesh will qualify for the final.
“I didn’t think we will, I said that winning a game was our target. It is great that we won and we are through to the final. After the first loss to Pakistan, we all sat and discussed that if we can’t cross the final hurdle, we’ll stay the same. I think we have almost learned to cross the last barrier.”
Tamim praised Shakib highly for great support in the middle.
“The guy (Shakib) sitting next to me is a game-changer. When he came to bat I knew that if he played his natural game, we’ll win this game. He was giving me enough support and encouragement, which is a very, very rare thing while batting. I thank him for doing that because he told me a lot of positive things. It helped me a lot. I am disappointed I couldn’t finish the job but hats off to the boys,” said Tamim adding that the controversy surrounding him before the tournament gave him extra motivation.
In the end captain Mushfiqur Rahim applauded the team effort behind the success and he gave the impression that the total team is waiting for much bigger achievements.
“It has been a great tournament for us. Everyone chipped in. Nazmul Hossain did well, that set up the game. We had a stiff target after the rain, but Shakib and Tamim batted well. There are five or six people performing in every game. The final is one of the biggest achievements in our cricketing history. Hopefully we will cross that hurdle. It is a great boost to have the crowd supporting you,” said Mushfiq.

-With The Daily Star input

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