In Bangladesh cricket team’s press conferences, ‘Ifs and Buts’ are commonly used by the person designated to face the media prior or after a match, or a series in order to defend their regular failures. It had been the case for a long time and local and international journalists are very familiar with the jargon more so after their disastrous performance in the last nine months. However, at the Asian Games, when skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza, who has just replaced Mushfiqur Rahim as ODI captain, opted to remain the same against minnows Kuwait, it only exposes the amount of confidence lacking in the squad.
When he uttered for the third time ‘if we win this match’ in the presser prior to their quarter-final against Kuwait today, a journalist could not resist his temptation to ask why do you have to be so protective even with a team of such standard.
Keeping his calm and composure intact rather exploding, the newly-appointed ODI skipper Mashrafee replied in defensive manner.
‘Whoever we play, we must use the word ‘if’ and only after a match can we talk elaborately,’ said Mashrafee in the presser held beside the nets of the Yeonhi cricket ground.
‘We are saying ‘if’ because it is a match and anything can happen,’ Mashrafee quipped adding some confidence to his voice finally by saying ‘we are the gold medalist and we are focusing on that,’
Bangladesh team had to bear the misfortune of staying in the road for two long hours as they failed to convince the Korean liaison officer about their desired venue where they would complete their practice session.
As per the earlier schedule, Tigers were placed in the Songdo LMG cricket ground on the outskirts of the city but later the practice venue was shifted to Yeonhi cricket ground.
However, the liaison officer was not informed of the latest development and on their way to Songdo, the official had to stop the bus and contact the higher authorities for the change of venue.
Though the journey was quite hectic, the Tigers were not ready to waste a single minute and went straight into the nets after completing a small stretching session.
Mashrafee put an emphasis on the importance of the match against the lesser known opponents as a bad day can spoil the party altogether.
‘Because the first match [against Kuwait] is a quarter-final with the knock-out system in place, every match is important,’ said Mashrafee.
‘We would like to win it in convincingly and if we can win it in a good manner it will help to raise the confidence for the next match,’ said Mashrafee
‘It is expected to be against the toughest team Sri Lanka. If we can win tomorrow, the rest depends on how we handle the matches ahead,’ he said.
Kuwait are captained by Mahmood Bastaki while his son Fahad Bastaki act as his deputy. They reached the quarter-final on the back of coin–toss as not a single ball could be bowled during their match against Maldives due to rain.
Mashrafee added that the thought of rain is also a growing concern for the team.
‘There is a worry about rain. If the game cannot be played for an over then there is some scare regarding it as there will be toss. Otherwise I don’t think there would be any problem,’ said Mashrafee.
‘We came here to win the gold no matter who comes forward against us. No one is taking it lightly and if we can win it that can be the turning point of our team’.
-With New Age input