ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 is knocking on the door. Cricket fever has started gripping in the world. Given different situation of CORONA pandemic across the world specially in Cricket World, different participating teams are doing the last-minute fine tuning.
Off course the last-minute unfortunate withdrawal of New Zealand team for perceived security threat followed up by cancellation of England teams scheduled tour to Pakistan have served deadly blows to international cricket in Cricket starved Pakistan. Needless mentioning that it is the outcome of dirty regional politics. One matter of comfort it that trouble turned Afghanistan is ready to participate despite of security uncertainties in their country. Hope all these would not cast any dark shadow over the World Cup.
The qualification rounds comprising of 8 teams divided into two groups would start early. The teams in the groups are
Sri Lanka, Ireland, Namibia and Netherlands.
Bangladesh, Scotland, Oman and, Papua New Guinea
Two teams from each group would advance to super twelve, which are
West Indies, England, Australia, South Africa +two qualifiers
New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan + two qualifiers.
My most readers are from Bangladesh though I am now Australian as well. Having lived in Afghanistan for a while have a soft corner for struggling Afghans. But would talk about what Bangladesh can take away from this global tournament.
While all board are now busy making last minutes preparations BCB is focusing all attention on the ensuing Executive Committee election. Team had no official training session yet. Foreign coaching staff was allowed to go on leave. As if under prepared team having as many as seven rookies would be ready for a global tournament with a few days training and conditioning.
It is great that two match winners of Bangladesh Mustafiz and Shakib are having a feel of the wickets and conditions playing for their respective IPL franchise. I am sure responsible players are individually doing what is required for keeping fit. World cup is the highest level of competition. That is the theatre for the seasoned professionals, experienced T20 specialists. Bangladesh is taking a gamble with 7 new players out of 15. Moreover, in the recent series most of them did not look good, did not have ideal preparations. BCB has thrown Bangladesh into thick soup.
Mahmudullah Riad (Captain), Liton K Das, Mohammad Naim, Soumyo Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Nurul Hasan Sohan (Wicket Keeper), Afif Hossain, Shamim Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehedi Hasan, Nasum Ahmed, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam and Mustafizur Rahman.
Standby: Aminul Islam Biplob and Rubel Hossain.
The team does not have a vice captain. Not satisfied with the explanation given to justify that decision. Ok senior players Shakib and Mushfiqur are there. We know BCB cannot mend their mind to name as Vice-Captain. In that case why not Liton or Sohan even could not be made deputy to Riad? Why Bangladesh squad have only two standbys while most have three, some even four. Bangladesh squad is very lean in batting. An additional batsman should have been there. What happens if openers do not click in qualifying matches? What happens if new players fail to deliver in the last middle order?
The success would largely depend on how Shakib bat and bowl and what Mustafiz appears in the World Cup specially in Super 12. We hop Mushfique and Mahmudullah shoulder the batting responsibility. There are possibilities of Afif and Sohan proving themselves. Shoriful and Saifuddin bowling their hearts out. But a team though winning series against major opposition is not tuned at all for a global event. Bangladesh is going to an unchartered with not too well prepared team with fresher. Can hope for their success but not too optimistic about it.
They would qualify easily but may stumble against strong opposition does not matter which group of Super 12 they advance to. Playing seasoned experienced professionals with rookies would not be easy at all. Bangladesh is taking huge risks. It would be a major achievement if Bangladesh wins 2-3 matches in super 12. Let us keep our fingers crossed. Off course with winning momentum Bangladesh has capital to fight and prove.
BDST: 1345 HRS, SEP 23, 2021