Tigers receive low-key reception

Mashrafee bin Murtaza

Bangladesh captain Mashrafee bin Murtaza (C) speaks to media at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport upon the team’s arrival from London on Saturday. — New Age photo

Bangladesh cricket team received a low-key reception on their return to the country on Saturday despite fulfilling their initial target of Champions Trophy in the UK.
Bangladesh played in the coveted eight-team tournament for the first time in 11 years and reached the semi-finals that they cherished before leaving for almost a two-month tour when they also played a tri-nation series in Ireland.
Mashrafee bin Murtaza-led side also did well in that series beating New Zealand, whom they beat again in Cardiff to ensure their semi-final berth at Champions Trophy, but lost to India in the all-important match.
After their last ICC ODI tournament in 2015, the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, where they lost to the same opponents in the quarter-finals, they received a big grand reception but this time only the CEO of Bangladesh Cricket Board received them by handing over some flower bouquets to the skipper.
‘We had a great opportunity to go for big but we failed to utilise the chances in the semi-final,’ said Mashrafee to the reporters at the Hazrat ShahJalal International Airport.
‘At the same time we are also disappointed that if we played well in the semis, we might get a chance to play one more match in the tournament. But the world is not finished here and we are looking forward to play well in the next series.’
Bangladesh’s next ICC campaign is World Cup 2019 that will also take place in the UK as well and the skipper believed their experience of the recent tour will help them immensely.
‘It’s obviously a great feeling to be in the semi-finals. We played in the knockout stages and there were opportunities but we could not deliver at the right time’, said Mashrafee.
‘But hope that we’ll do much better in the next big tournaments and series. If we can get such opportunities in those series, we’ll try to use the opportunities.’
Bangladesh beat some of the strongest teams in the world in last two years at home though their success abroad is not similar but the captain said they are gradually improving and need to fix some areas of their game.
Bangladesh reached 158-2 after 28 overs against India but a middle-order collapse saw them finish with only 264, at least 50 runs short considering the condition and strength of the opposition.
Mashrafee thought the batsmen had to take the responsibility but at the same time he was not content with the bowlers as he expected them to show some positive intent despite the target was too low to defend.
‘When we could not score enough runs against India and bowlers were fall in a shell mentally but their body language should not be like that. Batsmen need to learn how much they should score to set a target and bowlers should learn how to defend such score’, said Mashrafee.
‘If they learn so, we’ll definitely do well in the next World Cup,’ said the highest wicket taker of Bangladesh in ODIs, the only bowler who looked to have any sort of intent conceding just 29 runs off eight overs in picking up the only wicket in their nine-wicket defeat.
Mashrafee said the tournament was even tougher than the World Cup as there was no chance to comeback and although he acknowledged that it was tough for the young players to play well in such big occasion but he expected better from them.
However, the skipper believed they will improve and shine in the next big tournament.
‘We needed to play more as a whole team but we could not do so. Next time, we needed to play more maturely and bowlers should bowl well as a group.
‘Bowlers should learn how to ball in such flat wicket. It’s time to build up such things and be ready for next series mentally, physically and skill-wise.’

Source: New Age

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