Confident Tigers leave for Dubai

Mahmudullah

Mahmudullah at the Shahjalal International Airport as Bangladesh departed for Dubai to play in the Asia Cup on Sunday. Md Manik

Meanwhile, all-rounder Mahmudullah – who joined the team in Dhaka on Saturday, following his stint with the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League – said Bangladesh are entering the tournament in the best shape possible

A spirited Bangladesh national team left for Dubai on Sunday to play in the forthcoming Asia Cup 2018 but they had to fly without opening batsman Tamim Iqbal and pacer Rubel Hossain. While Tamim and Rubel were still waiting for their UAE visas, their team-mates, who are confident of a good showing in the tournament, boarded the flight at Shahjalal International Airport.

According to the BCB sources, the duo will board the flight as soon their e-visas are obtained. Bangladesh team manager Khaled Mahmud and chief selector Minhajul Abedin were also waiting for their visas to join the contingent for the six-nation Asia Cup set to start on Saturday in Dubai. Sri Lankan trainer Mario Villavarayan is expected to play the role of manager until Mahmud reaches Dubai.

It is understood that their visas are still under processing and is likely to be obtained in a day or two. Two-time finalists, Bangladesh will take on Sri Lanka in the tournament opener. In the final group game the Tigers will take on Afghanistan on September 20 at Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, all-rounder Mahmudullah – who joined the team in Dhaka on Saturday, following his stint with the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League – said Bangladesh are entering the tournament in the best shape possible. The side’s ODI and T20I series wins in tour of the West Indies just a month ago, has boosted them and they are looking forward to take the Asia Cup challenge.

“I believe because of the results we produced against West Indies, we entering the Asia Cup in the best way possible. And speaking of the Asia Cup, the previous one was good for us as we played the final. But having said that, all the participating teams are playing well at the moment and every game will be challenging for us,” said Mahmudullah to the media at Dhaka airport on Sunday.

The UAE conditions have been one of the major points of discussion for Bangladesh. Last time the Tigers played as a team there, in Sharjah, was in 1995 with Akram Khan leading the side. Some of the current players though, have gained experience of those cricket conditions through taking part in Pakistan Super League T20 and other tournaments in that region.

“The conditions are more or less similar to ours but obviously heat will be an important factor as it is pretty hot there. But being a professional, we have to adjust to those conditions and play accordingly,” he added

Mahmudullah was also looking forward to doing what’s best for the team, whether it’s batting up the order or as a finisher lower down.

“About the batting position as I have always said, I want to be a team player so I will try to give my best wherever my team wants me to play,” Mahmudullah explained.

According to Mahmudullah the start of the tournament will be the key to progress further and fulfill their goal of clinching the championship. The Tigers, who were agonizingly short of that in two occasions, will be keen to win the curtain-raiser as they take on five-time champion Sri Lanka.

“There is no room for us to relax as every game is important. As I already said, we have to play our best to beat the opponents and there are no alternatives. Be it Sri Lanka or Afghanistan, our main aim is to play good cricket and qualify for the second round and then we will take on from there,” said Mahmudullah.

 

Source: Dhaka Tribune.

 

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