The recent controversies surrounding him have come as a blessing in disguise for the team as it made the job easier for him to motivate the side, Bangladesh skipper Sakib al Hasan said on Thursday.
Sakib grabbed the media attention for all the wrong reasons and was at the centre of a series of controversies since the disastrous performance against West Indies in the World Cup.
Former captains reacted sharply to his criticism of them in a newspaper column after the nine-wicket defeat to West Indies. Sakib reminded the former players of their own failings when they blasted his team for being dismissed for 58 runs, their lowest one-day total.
The BCB stepped in and imposed a ban on the Bangladesh players writing a newspaper column during the Feb 19-April 2 tournament, which the country is co-hosting with India and Sri Lanka.
A section of the media also published pictures showing the 23-year-old all-rounder pointing his finger towards fans during the prize giving ceremony after the West Indies game, which led to another bout of criticism.
‘First of all, we are not reading any newspaper or any news comments. We are not worried about those things,’ Sakib said during his pre-match press conference in Chittagong.
‘Since everything was coming upon me, the other members were spared,’ Sakib said. ‘It made the job (to motivate the side) relatively easier,’ he said.
Refusing to give any message for the fans ahead of Friday’s crucial game against England, Sakib said they will concentrate on their job in hand instead of bothering about the response of the fans.
‘It’s really difficult to describe [the crowd behaviour],’ Sakib said. ‘Someday if you play well, they will cheer on you and someday if you don’t play well they will abuse you. So we are not thinking about our crowd.’
‘We have to do our stuff. We know what we can do and we hope to do those things.’
Bangladesh supporters reacted angrily last Friday after their West Indies debacle and mistakenly threw stones at the West Indies team bus when they were returning to their hotel.
The attack on the West Indies team bus was taken very seriously by the International Cricket Council and Bangladesh security forces, leading to the tightening of safety measures in an around the stadium and the teams’ hotel.
The authority deployed armoured personnel carriers in important intersections of Chittagong to ensure the security of the team during their travel.
Anything but a win against England will severely dent Bangladesh’s hopes of progressing to the quarter-finals, which also put the local side under pressure, admitted Shakib.
‘Boys will be a bit tense. But we believe if we can play well we can beat any team and they are confident enough to do the right things,’ Sakib said.
Courtesy of New Age