Tigresses look confident of clearing the qualifier hurdle

Sports Desk : dhakamirror.com

Bangladesh seems confident of securing their spot in next year’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup by finishing top of the four-team group at their qualifying tournament, to be held in the United Arab Emirates from September 18-25 target.

The USA, Scotland, Ireland, and the Tigresses are placed in the same group. Bangladesh captain Nigar Sultana Joty thinks Ireland are the toughest opponents in the field but remains hopeful of clearing the Irish hurdle.

“First we have to make sure we qualify. And I have to admit that Ireland are a very strong team but if you look at their record against us the wins are few and we are the favorites in that regard. And as for the team, we’ve been playing for a long time and if we can fulfill our potential and consistency provided the batters play well then I think we’ll be the favourites”, the Bangladesh captain said of his chances against Ireland and on overall qualification during a press conference in Mirpur today.

Joty’s words were echoed by Manjurul Islam, the former Bangladeshi cricketer and chief selector of women’s teams. Of course we hope to qualify for the T20 World Championship with the team that is available to us, said the chief selector.

According to Joty, the weather in the UAE would be a big challenge for all teams. “We saw at the men’s Asian Cup recently that the weather over there [in the United Arab Emirates] is really terrible. Ireland, being a cold weather based country, will of course arrive with a completely different weather but we also need to adapt. And that’s why the board made the decision to let us travel there earlier so we can acclimatize better”.

The chief selector summarized the tactical preparation the Tigresses went through at home ahead of the qualifiers.

“It’s true that we haven’t played for a long time [due to the coronavirus pandemic]. However, lately we have done a lot of domestic preparation for T20 cricket, from the introduction of T20s in NCL in lieu of one-day matches, to four T20 matches during the seven-day camp at Sylhet, with the aim of working on match scenarios that will Format presented”, said Manjurul.

Right arm pacer Marufa Akter, coming in place of Suriya Azmin, was the only new face in the Nigar Sultana Joty-led side, which also saw Jahanara Alam return to the team, which replaces Fariha Islam Trishna.

The reporters at the press conference asked both Manjurul and Joty the inclusion of Marufa.

Manjurul said, “We considered the upcoming tournament to be the best platform to give opportunities to new faces, not name-wise but based on their performance”.

“And she [Marufa] is an performer. If you look at the Premier League she was the best player and in the NCL she was the second highest wicket taker. And bowling aside, if you look at Marufa’s batting profile, she fits perfectly as a batsman in the number six-seven position in T20 cricket”.

“So we picked her as the most suitable player to take the place of Suriya and Trishna who are likely to be in the Asian Cup in Bangladesh later [after the qualifiers].

Joty also brought up Marufa’s superior field skills and ability to act as a team player.

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