Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim on Sunday termed Bangladesh as one of the serious contenders to win the forthcoming ICC World Cup, scheduled from May 30 to July 14 in United Kingdom.
‘I don’t expect an easy game to win in the World Cup,’ Mushfiq told reporters in a press conference in Mirpur. ‘In the World Cup, I will say that every team is strong. But what I believe is that Bangladesh are also one of the biggest contenders to get the World Cup.’
Ranked seventh in the world, the Tigers will go into the biggest cricket carnival with an experienced side that has performed decently in recent past.
Bangladesh, the semi-finalists in 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, won 13 of their 20 matches in 2018.
Only India and England have won more matches than Bangladesh while only New Zealand have a better winning percentage than the Tigers along with these two teams.
In skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza, his deputy Sakib al Hasan, opener Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiq they have four players, Bangladesh have four players to play their fourth World Cup.
Mushfiq believed that the experiences would give them a chance to surpass their previous World Cup record, the quarter-final appearance in 2015, and might also help them come out on top defying the odds.
‘Actually, any team would be difficult to beat [in the World Cup],’ said Mushfiq. ‘Afghanistan is not an easy team to beat. India, Pakistan, Australia or England are also difficult to beat on a particular day. On the other side, if we can play well, we can be also unbeatable by all the teams.
‘For me, it’s important how we are performing in all three departments on a specific day…We have to make sure to continue the consistency.’
Mushfiq suggested that if Bangladesh can qualify for the knock-out stages it will give them a chance to rewrite their cricketing history.
‘We aspire to make it a memorable one and go all way. I don’t think it’s impossible, though it may be a difficult task,’ he said.
‘I strongly believe that we have the huge potentiality to make it to the knock-out stages and anything can happen in the knock-out stage.
‘In the last few years, we suffered defeats in many finals. I have a belief that Almighty might have saved it to give us something big in this World Cup,’ he added.
Mushfiq also advised the seven new World Cuppers of the team to enjoy their time in the tournament, which would increase their performance level without being stressed.
Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehedi Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, and Abu Jayed are going to play their maiden World Cup though most of them are regular faces in Bangladesh’s ODI set-up.
‘Those, who are playing in the World Cup, are matured. Apart from Rahi [Abu Jayed], the remaining players have played a lot of matches. These experiences will help them.
‘It will be important to enjoy the times. They should carry a mentality that cricket is just a game and they should give their 100 per cent and it’s the most important thing,’ he added.
Bangladesh will open their campaign in the World Cup against South Africa at the Oval on June 2.
Source: New Age.