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Shanto wants to give Shakib and Mahmudullah a fitting farewell

Sports Desk
15 May 2024 20:15:58 | Update: 15 May 2024 20:15:58
Shanto wants to give Shakib and Mahmudullah a fitting farewell
Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto (L) and coach Chandika Hathurusinghe at a press conference at the Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on Wednesday — AFP Photo

Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto vowed to give two veteran cricketers-Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah Riyad a befitting farewell by doing well in the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup.

With the duo reaching the twilight of their careers, this T20 World Cup is considered as their last, reports BSS.

"I am not sure if it will be the last World Cup for Mahmudullah and Shakib but this is just a perception. They served the country for a long, so we the young players will definitely want to give them some good memories. This is definitely a responsibility of the young players," Shanto said on Wednesday.

Part of the Fab Five (Fabolous Five) of Bangladesh cricket, Shakib will be 37 while Mahmudullah will be 38 when the World Cup starts in next month. Shanto didn't demand anything extra from Shakib and Mahmudullah apart from spreading their experience among the young cricketers.

He said the duo's experience will be invaluable in this T20 World Cup to achieve the expected result.

"We don't demand anything extra from them. If they perform as per their roles, the team will definitely benefit. What we will want is that they spread their experience among the other players so that small improvements can be made," he added.


‘We can beat any team’

Bangladesh captain Najmul Hossain Shanto believes his team is capable of beating any team if they can perform to their true ability in the upcoming T20 World Cup.

The Tigers are drawn in a strong group which featured teams like Sri Lanka, South Africa and Nepal. Bangladesh though believed to beat Nepal with ease, there is a strong sense of belief the next three opponents will be tougher for them.

Considering the opponents, it looked a bit tougher for Bangladesh to get through the first round. But Shanto looked quite upbeat to overcome the hurdle of the first round.

He stressed on making small plans to get the expected result.

"I think we have to make small plans to get through the first round. We are in a strong group. It will be difficult. There's no big or small team in T20s. If we play well on a particular day, we can beat any team," Shanto said in an official press conference for the T20 World Cup.

The Bangladesh squad will leave Dhaka for Huston via Dubai at 1.40 AM on Thursday.

Shanto said the team combination and preparation were perfect for the prestigious tournament. Even though the captain himself was not in good form, Shanto believes he can make a good comeback in the World Cup.

"If our preparation and team combination is taken into account, I think it is a very good team. It is important to perform their individual duty during the particular day. I am sure they will deliver," he opined.

"I made a good comeback in the last World Cup. I am not too worried about my batting in this tournament. I am working hard, and improving in practice. I am confident that I can make another comeback in this World Cup."

But what makes Shanto more confident about doing well in the World Cup, is his fast bowling troop, which has been excellent of late in all conditions.

"We have a much improved fast bowling department. There's a higher possibility of winning a T20 match if the bowling unit does well. Bowlers are bigger matchwinners in T20s. We are also likely to play on conditions that may aid spin so given our variation in attack, they should also do well. Bowling is overall our strength," he informed.

Shanto also explained about the exclusion of allrounder Saifuddin and the inclusion of Liton Das. These two players made headlines ever since the team was announced.

Pacer Tanzim Hasan Sakib was chosen ahead of Saifuddin, who took eight wickets in four matches against Zimbabwe while Liton still made the team despite his poor form.

"Coach, myself and the three selectors have been discussing selection even before the Zimbabwe series. We took a collective decision with the squad. Sakib bowls faster than Saifuddin, who hasn't performed up to our expectations. They were close, but we had more confidence in Sakib as an overall package," Shanto explained.

"Liton is a very important player. He hasn't had a good time recently. It can happen to any cricketer. We didn't want to bring in a new player in such a big event. We valued Litton's experience."

Shanto believes that fast bowler Taskin Ahmed will recover from his side strain injury ahead of the World Cup.

"We are hopeful that Taskin will be available from the first game (of the T20 World Cup). That's what I have heard from the medical team. He is our main bowler. If he is not in the team, we have to go ahead with the backup options. Everyone has to be prepared," he said.

Citing leg-spinner Rishad Hossain as a complete package, Shanto said he wants to give him the license so that he can bring up his true potential.

"We have a good leg-spinner in our team. Rishad performed with bat and ball in most of the recent matches. The team gets extra benefit from his batting. He is also one of our best fielders. He is a complete package. If he can give his best, the team will go ahead. I don't want to put him under any pressure. I want him to do what he can do."