All members of the Bangladesh team will leave together today for Trinidad after captain Mushfiqur Rahim along with Tamim Iqbal and Nasir Hossain returned home yesterday after playing the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL). Vice-captain Mahmudullah Riyad and Mohammad Ashraful earlier returned home as their teams made an early exit from the competition. The three other cricketers also joined the team though Mushfiqur Rahim’s team Nagenahira Nagas advanced to the today’s final of the inaugural edition of the SLPL.
Bangladesh captain scored 66 runs in five matches while Tamim made 190 runs in six matches for Wayamba United and the left-hander scored only 11 runs in the first semifinal which his side lost by 20 runs against Uva Next. Nasir returned home without playing any match for Nagenahira Nagas.
“I think the experience of playing in the SLPL will help us when we play the World Cup matches in Sri Lanka. The most important thing is that we played matches at Pallekele where we play our group matches, so it will definitely help us because we now know the condition very well,” said Tamim Iqbal while talking with the reporters at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport yesterday.
The left-hander was quite optimistic about Bangladesh’s chances in the ICC World Twenty20.
“The team is now in a good shape because we already played a number of T20 matches and are going to play some matches in West Indies before the World Cup. We have the ability to do something in the World Cup this time around,” he added.
The Tigers, who play the Trinidad Quadrangular T20 competition under the banner of BCB XI, will play a practice match against a local selection on September 5. They take on Barbados on September 6, Afghanistan on September 7 and Trinidad & Tobago on September 8 at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain. They then head for Sri Lanka on September 9 to take part in the ICC World Twenty20 starting from September 18.
Captain Mushfiqur was reluctant to talk with the media but all-rounder Nasir Hossain echoed the sentiment of Tamim.
“It’s frustrating that I could not play a single match but it’s a plus point for us that my other teammates played some matches and their experience will help us to do something in the World Cup,” said Nasir.
Bangladesh has been placed in Group D along with New Zealand and Pakistan in the ICC World Twenty20. The Tigers will take on New Zealand on September 21 before meeting Pakistan on September 25. Both matches will be played at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
Before the group matches, Mushfiqur Rahim’s men will play two practice gamesagainst Zimbabwe on September 15 and against Ireland on September 17 in Colombo.
Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Mahmudullah Riyad (vice-captain), Tamim Iqbal, Junaed Siddiqui, Jahurul Islam, Mohammad Ashraful, Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Abdur Razzak, Elias Sunny, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Forhad Reza, Shafiul Islam, Ziaur Rahman and Abul Hasan.
-With The Daily Star input