June 15, 2024

Sports Desk: Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan Papon was overall pleased by the team’s performance against Ireland as the Tigers kept the winning momentum going.

But the BCB boss was particularly happy by the way the players dug in for the wins in difficult scenarios, which he believes would bolster the team’s confidence ahead of the World Cup.

“The performance was superb. The players played really well but I was particularly happy for their attitude. They had a never-say-die attitude, they won difficult moments and won the game from situations.

It’s a thing that would bolster our confidence,” Papon said today after distributing prizes following the final match of the physically challenged cricketers at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

Bangladesh won the three-match series 2-0, after the first match was washed out. They thereafter beat Ireland by three wickets in the second match before sealing a thrilling four-run victory in the third game.

“I think we could have won the first game if rain had not interrupted the match. We showed our mental strength in the second game and won the game from scratch. Mushfiqur, Towhid Hridoy, Najmul Hossain Shanto all batted well in the series.”

The BCB president, however, returned to the country before the third match but said he would have wanted a spinner in the team if he was asked.

“Personally, I felt we needed a spinner in the third game since Shakib Al Hasan was out due to injury. We played the first two matches with three spinners and then suddenly we played one spinner in the third game,” Papon opined.

“I think if three spinners played, Ireland wouldn’t be able to go thus far. It’s good that Shanto gave us a crucial breakthrough. I was informed that he bowled a bit but he is not a regular spinner. Still, we won the game in a difficult situation. It is really satisfying.”

The BCB president also gave some ideas about the World Cup squad, stating that Mahmudullah Riyad is still in consideration even though he was considered for the last two series.

“From 1 to 6 in batting position is settled as far as I believe,” Papon said. “We have a settled pace and spin department. The likes of Naim Sheikh, Anamul Haque Bijoy could come in the fray for the opening position after performing well consistently. The only position that can give us some headache is No. 7 for which a lot of contenders are here, including Mahmudullah.”

“Currently, we are playing Yasir Rabbi in this position. But Afif, Mahmudullah and even Mosaddek can be considered for this position. I am not sure. It’s all my assumption. The final 15-member squad will be decided by chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu and the final XI for the match will be decided by the captain.”

The BCB president informed that they have turned down the offer of hosting Asia Cup, considering that Bangladesh will be rain-prone in those months.

“So far I know there is some tension between Pakistan and India over the Asia Cup. A hybrid model can be followed with some matches being held in Pakistan and some in Dubai. Bangladesh was offered to host the tournament but we said no, because there will be rain in those months here. If its T20 tournament, then we can take a risk but it is ODI format of tournament,” Papon revealed.

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