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Mahmud confident of Asia Cup success

  • Published at 08:37 pm September 8th, 2018
Mahmud
Bangladesh cricket team manager Khaled Mahmud briefs the media in Dhaka Saturday Dhaka Tribune

Khaled Mahmud was hopeful the Tigers may start the tournament with their full strength

Bangladesh cricket team manager Khaled Mahmud said the team’s target is to win the Asia Cup. The Tigers’ former skipper announced the desire Saturday, on the eve of leaving to Dubai, where the tournament will take place from next Saturday. 

Bangladesh team are scheduled to fly off to the UAE Sunday evening. 

Mahmud, who is now a BCB director, justified his expectation by recalling Bangladesh’s success in the previous editions of the tournament. The Tigers, who reached the final of this illustrious tournament for the first time in 2012, reached the final in the last two Asia Cups but this time around, they are determined to break the final hurdle and clinch the title. 

However, he emphasised that every match is crucial for the Tigers. 

“Every match is a pressure to Bangladesh team,” said Mahmud to the media at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka. 

“It is not that Bangladesh have not played a final before. We can dream to win the tournament, given that we have played the final before. But every match is a pressure game for us, let it be against Sri Lanka or Afghanistan. We need to work to shred the pressure and grab positive results,” he added. 

Mahmud also revealed the plan of keeping the focus that he termed as the most important aspect of getting success. 

“It is always the best option to go to a tournament with a target. It helps you to keep focus. India and Pakistan are also playing in the tournament and the condition is not also very friendly. But still we should move forward focusing on a target,” said the former all-rounder.

Bangladesh will start their Asia Cup 2018 campaign taking on Sri Lanka in the tournament opener Saturday at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The Tigers, who are slotted in Group B, will play their second and final group match against Afghanistan on September 20 in Abu Dhabi.  

India, Pakistan and Hong Kong feature in Group A and the top two teams from each group will qualify for the second round of the tournament.

However, the Tigers are already facing some problems before the big event with some injury problems. Bangladesh Test and T20I captain Shakib al Hasan, opening batsman Tamim Iqbal and youngster Nazmul Hossain Shanto are carrying some sort of injuries.

Shakib has been a major injury worry since he returned from the West Indies tour and the all-rounder recently revealed that his injury on the left little finger is getting worse. Through several discussions, the left-arm all-rounder was named in the squad for the six-nation tournament but the concern was never eliminated.

The most recent injury to strike the camp was that of left-handed top-order batsman Shanto. Shanto injured his right index finger during a practice session. 

Shakib is to join the team in the UAE, having spent time with family in the USA. It is understood a final call over his availability for the Tigers will come following assessment once he reports to the squad in Dubai.

While for Tamim, it was an old injury resurfacing as a hair-line fracture. Both Tamim and Shanto are dealing with minor injuries and are expected to recover before the tournament. However, left-handed batsman Mominul Haque is kept as a back-up in the 16-man squad. 

Mahmud was hopeful the Tigers may start the tournament with their full strength. 

“Actually I am not fully updated of Shakib’s condition as I was not part of the team for the past few months. He (Shakib) will report to the team in Dubai. Tamim’s injury does not look to be a major one. We still have a few days left before the first game and hope they will recover before that,” said Mahmud.

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