Embattled Bangladesh cricket team got their task in the first Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka today harder after two campaigners Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim complained of fresh injury.
The Tigers were already struggling with the injury of regular skipper Sakib al Hasan, who was ruled out of the first of the two-match Twenty20 international series as he failed to recover sufficiently from a finger injury.
Tamim hurt his left bicep during a training session while Mushfiq sustained a wrist niggle on his right hand and the team management promptly included wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Mithun as their potential backup.
Having already lost the Test and tri-series tournament final against Sri Lanka, the injury of the experienced duo put Bangladesh on the back foot before the start of Twenty20 series, the last remaining hope for the home side to salvage their pride.
‘He [Tamim] felt some slight niggle on his bicep yesterday [Monday]. Because of that we are still waiting for our best possible XI,’ stand-in skipper Mahmudullah told reporters in Mirpur.
‘Along with that there is a concern about Mushfiqur Rahim as well. Hopefully we will get both the players for tomorrow’s [today’s] match. Mushfiq had slight niggle in his wrist. But hopefully he will be alright,’ he added.
The Tigers brought a number of fresh talents like wicketkeeper batsman Zakir Hasan, pacer Abu Jayed and all-rounders Ariful Haque, Mahedi Hasan and Afif Hossain, left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam in the Twenty20 squad, who had a fabulous run in the recent edition of Bangladesh Premier League.
Mahmudullah claimed that all of them deserved a national team call and as the most senior player and skipper he was telling them to play fearless game of cricket to get positive result in this format.
‘If you say about the new players, all of them deserved their places. You need to play fearless cricket in Twenty20 cricket. If you think about failure then the percentage of success rate would be reduced.
‘If you can finish that then there is a chance to do well. I’m trying to give a message to everyone in the team that you need to play positive without thinking about fear of failure,’ he added.
Although Bangladesh were playing Twenty20 cricket for more than a decade but they were still a struggling side in the shortest format as they were unable to make any significant mark in T20s.
The Tigers were ranked at number 10th position in this format, below than their neighbours Afghanistan and could only win one match in their last eleven Twenty20 internationals.
Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah acknowledged that they wanted to make a statement to the cricketing world this time by winning the Twenty20 series that would prove their ability in Twenty20 format.
‘First of all, Twenty20 is a different format. It’s a different ball game and games of different tempo….I think there is a big question on our ability to play Twenty20 cricket,’ he said.
‘I think we have a statement to make to the remaining world by this series. So this series is very important for us and our cricket. We want to make a statement Insallah,’ he added.
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