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Tigers embark on SL with high hopes

Sri Lankan cricket authorities welcome Bangladesh cricket team members with garland at Colombo airport on Sunday. — Courtesy photo

Interim Bangladesh Twenty20 international skipper Mahmudullah on Sunday said that their first and foremost target in the forthcoming Nidahas Trophy would be winning the tournament, which will get underway in Colombo on Tuesday.
The Tigers left Dhaka for Colombo on Sunday with the hope of playing in the final of the tournament, involving hosts Sri Lanka and India, despite not getting the service of their ace all-rounder and regular skipper Sakib al Hasan.
However, Mahmudullah, who led the Tigers in their previous two-match Twenty20 series against the Islanders in Sakib’s absence, was optimistic about their chances in the tournament and was hopeful they would be able to prove their ability in the shortest format of the game this time around.
‘Our first target will be winning the tournament,’ Mahmudullah told reporters at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport before leaving for Colombo.
‘Apart from that we have many things left to do. We have to prove our ability in this format. In my last press conference I told that there was a question about our strength in this format. I think this is a great platform for us to prove our ability.
‘If we can manage to get the best service from everyone then I think that we have a very good chance to achieve great things in this series,’ he added.
Sakib was included in the initial squad for the tournament before he was ruled out as he was yet to recover completely from his finger injury that he sustained in tri-series final on January 27.
Bangladesh had to pay the price for Sakib’s injury in their recent home series against Sri Lanka and his absence in the upcoming tri-series came as a big blow for the Tigers.
Mahmudullah said that missing Sakib in this series would be upsetting for the side though he claimed that it was also a chance for the rest of the players to showcase their ability.
‘I think it is really damaging for the side that we are not getting Sakib in the series. He is a champion player and it is always tough for us when we miss him. But still this is an opportunity for us to perform well in this series,’ he said.
Mahmudullah acknowledged that the start of the tri-series would be crucial for them.
‘I think if we can win the first match… insallah then we will get the momentum in the initial period,’ he added.
Bangladesh will open the tournament against Rohit Sharma’s India on March 8.
Pacer Taskin Ahmed, who will make a comeback in this series after being dropped from the national side for January home series, was also hopeful about their success and promised to give more than his usual performance for the side.
‘Insallah it will be great for us. If we can execute our plans according to accuracy and planning then we can be more successful.
‘I have been practicing hard for last couple of days. By the grace of Almighty I didn’t have to wait for many days as I made my comeback for the next series. I will try to give my 120 per cent to win matches for my team, he added.

Source: New Age.

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